During visit west, my parents and I embarked on a mini, 2-night camping trip in the Olympic Mountains. Every sight was breath taking, whether it was looking out across sunset painted waters towards Canada, or hiking through the mossy and magical canopied forests of Douglas Firs and Spruce towards hidden waterfalls. Even the drive from their house in Tacoma to Olympic National Park, provided plenty to take in during the two hour trek. When views of the ocean or mountains were momentarily out of sight, we often passed through small coastal towns and farm country. One crop in particular caught my eye over and over, lavender. I have always been drawn to its soothing, mild aroma, and a tasty experience with a lavender ice cream in Taos years ago made a lasting impression on me, so when signs for lavender farms, coffee shops offering lavender mochas, and purple flags popped every few miles, I felt it necessary to stop and try a new lavender treat. Being bright and early in the morning, and still quite cool, I opted for a latte with lavender syrup. While the syrup offered a wonderful sent to the coffee it was distractingly sweet. The flowery lavender needed a bit of bite to balance the flavor.
Here is a perfect balance of tart and sweet. I used this recipe for chewy lemon sugar cookies but added my own twist by finely grinding fresh lavender from my mom’s garden (I dried it for 24 hours) with a pestle and adding it to the flour mixture. The result was fantastic. The buttery sweetness of the cookie was delicious paired with the tang of the lemon. The lavender gave the cookies a sophisticated flavor and made for a unique treat to serve guest after dinner with coffee.