Lavender + Violet Shortbread Cookies

Recipe by Julia Johnson and Elena Ubeda,
ICC’s Professional Culinary Arts students,
Second Place Winners of the ICC 2015 Cookie Games

Yield: 48 cookies


For the Shortbread Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons grapefruit zest
  • 1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

For the Grapefruit Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
  • pinch of salt
  • dried lavender, for garnish
  • violet candies, crushed, for garnish
International Culinary Center Bloomingdales demo
Above, ICC’s Director of Pastry Jansen Chan and “The Cookie Games” winners Julia Johnson and Elena Ubeda during their baking demonstration of the Lavender + Violet Shortbread Cookie at Bloomingdale’s.


In a medium bowl combine the sugar, crushed dried lavender, and grapefruit zest. Using your fingers, rub the lavender and zest into the sugar until well combined. Set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium high until light in color and airy, about 2-3 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar, lavender, and zest mixture. Increase the mixer’s speed to medium high and beat, scraping down the sides as needed to cream the butter and sugar, about 3-4 additional minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour, followed by the salt. Mix until just combined. Remove dough from bowl and divide into four portions. Shape the portions into fat logs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm: at least 1 hour.

International Culinary Center students at Bloomingdales

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, heavy cream, grapefruit juice, and zest. Add a pinch of salt and whisk until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper. Once dough has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and unwrap the logs. Working quickly (so the dough stays chilled), roll the logs until they are approximately 1 1/2 – 2 inches in diameter. Slice 1/4-inch-thick medallions and arrange on the parchment lined sheet pans, making sure to leave a bit of room in between each cookie. Transfer to the oven and bake just until cookies are lightly golden around the edges, 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Once cookies are completely cool, dip the top of each one into the glaze and set back on the wire racks to dry. While glaze is still wet, sprinkle cookies with dried lavender and crushed violet candies for garnish. Allow to sit until glaze has completely hardened, and enjoy!