Make Ahead

Oatmeal and Lavender Shortbread

April 14, 2013
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes About 24 cookies
Author Notes

These nontraditional shortbreads deliver a burst of flavor from toasted oats and lavender. They love to be served with tea, even more so with a glass of champagne and vanilla ice cream. They love to be served with cheese at the end of a meal. They love to be packed into a school lunch. They make great roadtrip snack. They make great movie companion. And for a very unusual breakfast/brunch on a hot sunny day, try them with whipped goat cheese and lemon coulis ( —QueenSashy

Test Kitchen Notes

This shortbread was sublime. The oats contributed an almost coconutty texture and a lovely toastiness, and the lavender was a delightful, graceful note. We thought they were delicious right out of the oven, but, as the notes say, they were even better the next day: a little sturdier for packing and with a deeper flavor. Next time I will dial down the salt a tad. Much as we adore salt, using unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon of salt was a little too much for us. There will definitely be a next time -- these were delicious! —lmikkel

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (several folks mentioned in their comments that they reduced the amount of salt. I like my shortbreads on the salty side, so take a note of that)
  • 3/4 tablespoon dry lavender flowers
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F convection (or 350° F for a regular oven). Toast the oats for about 10 minutes. Let the oats cool completely and then process in a food processor, until powdery.
  2. Beat the butter with sugar until creamy. Stir in the oats, flour, salt, and lavender. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and pat it into a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Wrap up the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F convection (or 350°F regular bake). Slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick the top of the shortbreads with a fork. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden (somehow, for a lot of cookies in my oven I found 22 minutes to be the magic number). Slide the parchment onto a wire rack and let the shortbreads cool.
  4. The shortbreads can be kept in an airtight container for about a week.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.

35 Reviews

Linda April 23, 2023
I should add that the cook time in my oven (a 20+ year old oven) was a total of 14 mins.
Linda April 23, 2023
These cookies are easy to make & delicious. After reading the reviews I decreased salt to 1/2 teaspoon. Regarding the dough being crumbly/hard to work with- I measured the butter by weight (8 tablespoons = 113 g), and spooned the flour into my measuring up and had no problem with the dough falling apart. Thanks!
r504 October 4, 2022
The taste was great, but very dry and crumbly. I couldn't slice them, had to warm up and put in a dish like I cook my other shortbread.
Lauren March 25, 2019
They seem easy to make, and its interesting to mix oatmeal and lavender together in a shortbread.
Chiara P. July 19, 2018
Hallo, this recipie looks so good and can't wait to try it. I have just two questions for you: as I can't eat oats, can I use same weight of all purpose flour? Also, if I wish to add honey, do you think I should use less sugar? Thanks a lot! :)
Giffen M. February 14, 2018
The flavor of these cookies is spectacular. (I admit I've been eating the dough with a spoon). I'm wondering if folks have any advice for a first-time shortbread-maker about getting the right texture for the dough. Mine came out pretty crumbly and was difficult to shape into a log of the diameter that the recipe recommends. It's still decently crumbly after refrigerating for several hours. I'll go ahead and bake this batch with the hope that they'll be delicious despite their appearance, but I would love any tips for next time around. FYI, I made a double batch of the dough and am wondering if that might have affected the texture at all.
QueenSashy February 20, 2018
If the dough becomes unmanageable, add just a drop or two of water, or wet your hands while shaping the log. That should help.
jenny February 7, 2016
These tasted yummy. Used less salt as others has suggested, but my cookies did come out very crumbly... The tops had a crackle look even. Any suggestions?
QueenSashy February 7, 2016
Jenny, you are right, they are delicate. I usually leave them to cool completely before touching them, and even then handle them with lots of care.
beejay45 November 16, 2015
Cut the salt in half (wait for it), used salted butter, and mixed the salt with a little sugar to sprinkle on top before baking just because I like that salty sweet crunch. And I can tell you that these are outstanding with a swath of medium-ripe Brie or Camembert, and a glass of wine,white and fizzy by my preference, but lemonade goes equally well if you don't want the alcohol. Thanks fora great idea!
Emilia R. October 28, 2015
"Toast the oats for about 10 minutes." You mean, in the oven or in a skillet?
LLcsf August 23, 2015
I made these last night, with the recommended reduced salt. It was so easy and love the added texture of the oats. They are heavenly. Thank you for the recipe!
Two T. May 1, 2015
Ahh. Baked these and grabbed a few of them to nosh on while working. Instead I am coming here to gush. Unfortunately I lacked lavender but took a lead from below and used cardamom instead-- 3/4 TEASPOON of it (as well as 3/4 t salt), and some orange zest. Deliciousness. The texture is super. I have to think it is the lower gluten in the oat flour (I had some oat flour I made already, then I toasted it a little and used 112 grams of it--for the oats).
cassie March 5, 2015
Instead of butter, I used 1/4c olive oil and 1/4c plain low fat Greek yogurt to "health-ify" it a bit more. Oh, and I added 1/2 T lemon extract.
In the oven now!
Greenstuff February 27, 2015
I didn't have any lavender, so I added some cardamom instead--a big success, and I think lots of other flavors would work well. As for the salt, I did use a full teaspoon, but I used a really flaky one, Maldon. That's something I won't change, no matter how many versions are in my future. Great recipe!
QueenSashy February 27, 2015
Greenstuff, thanks so much for letting me know. Cardamom is such a great choice, I have to say way better than lavender. I have been making a lot of dishes with cardamom recently, and it did not occur to me to try it in this shortbread. Thank you for the tip!
Michel M. January 15, 2017
Thanks for the tip indeed!!
I love them this way!!! <3
(I have no lavender either; so.. That didn't work out for me :') )
This is so far the best mix for cookies that I can dip in my tea :3
Danielle July 24, 2014
I halved the salt, and I might reduce it or increase it next time, just for play . . . but regardless of the salt, these are impeccable! Probably because of the oats, they stay light, buttery, with just the right mix of solid and crumbly. I can't wait to turn them into breakfast and devour them so that I can try again with other additions . . . lemon zest does sound like a good idea, or rosemary. Orange oil probably wouldn't go astray here either.
Carol December 10, 2013
Is that 3 to 4 Tablespoons of Lavender, or three quarters of a Tablespoon?
QueenSashy December 10, 2013
it's three quarters of a tablespoon
Carol December 10, 2013
Thanks, that's what I thought! The 's' threw me.
Kels M. August 20, 2013
Has anyone tried adding a pinch of rosemary to this recipe?
Morgan July 31, 2013
These were fantastic. I made them with salted butter, 1/2 tsp of salt, and also a little bit of lemon zest. Thanks for a great recipe!
QueenSashy August 1, 2013
Mozzy, I am so glad you liked them, and thank you for letting me know.
Nancy M. July 15, 2013
I made these on Saturday and they are awesome. They were gone the next day. I reduced the salt to 3/4 tsp and it seemed about right.
QueenSashy July 15, 2013
Nancy, thanks so much for letting me know! And I admit, I do like my shortbreads a tiny bit on the salty side, so 3/4 tsp salt is probably the "right" amount, I just cannot help liking that extra quarter...
carswell July 12, 2013
I'm not growing lavender this year - but a friend of mine is and I'm going over to her place tomorrow. I'll definitely grab a couple of stems of lavender on my way out.
carswell July 12, 2013
I'm thinking they could easily be converted to a gluten free recipe as well.
Eileen February 26, 2016
Maybe but please remember that oats contain gluten.
Mealku July 12, 2013
Wow, we have to try this over the weekend!