Lavender & Lemon Shortbread Hearts, Drizzled with Coconut Icing

Delicate, simple and pretty lavender shortbread treats.  The floral notes of the lavender, pairs beautifully with the citrus of the lemon, and the sweetness of the delicately drizzled coconut icing gives a perfect twist.  The balance of flavours in this recipe, with floral, citrus and sweet, make this treat very special.

Baking with lavender is incredibly pleasing, especially if you have harvested it from your own garden or window box!  I like to use dried lavender grains which are more intense in flavour than the fresh flowers, but if you use fresh flowers, then just put twice as much into your baking.

200g gluten-free flour
1/8  teaspoon (pinch) xanthan gum
175g dairy-free margarine
75g caster sugar
40g ground rice
1 teaspoon dried lavender grains
1 lemon, grated zest only

for the coconut icing:
100g icing sugar
1 tablespoon warm water

What to do
Preheat oven to 150 C / 300 F / Gas 2.  
Have a baking tray ready.

Sift together the gluten-free plain flour with the xanthan gum.

Stir in the sugar and ground rice, then rub in the dairy-free margarine with your finger tips.

Add the lavender grains and grated lemon rind, stirring evenly through the mixture using a cold metal knife.  Continue stirring until you have 'brought together' the mixture into one lump.

Turn out onto a floured surface and gently roll out to 1cm thick.  

Cut out your shapes using a heart-shaped cutter,  place onto a baking tray and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Do not over-bake.  The shortbread should be light in colour.

Cool your shortbread on a cooling rack*.

Meanwhile, make the icing by adding enough warm water to the icing sugar to make a smooth consistency.  

Lightly drizzle the icing over half of the shortbread hearts, and sprinkle a little desiccated coconut onto the icing before it sets.

Sprinkle a few more lavender grains over the shortbread to serve.

*If you just want to sprinkle your shortbread with sugar rather than use icing, then do so whilst the shortbread is still warm.