My mother and I operated a gourmet food and gift basket store during my early 20s. That is to say that she owned and operated it and I occasionally wandered in closer to noontime to assist her in things such as stocking shelves, cleaning up, and fetching lunch. I fancied myself an aspiring poet in those days. Ten years have passed and now it seems like the only time I string together poetic words are when I'm singing silly songs to my pets!
While some things change many things do not. It was during our time at the gourmet food shop that I first began consuming lavender as opposed to only exposing myself to its fragrances during bathtime. Like many individuals, my first introduction came in the form of lavender lemonade. We sold a variety of herb seasoning mixes and one just happened to be for such a concoction. Upon my first batch I fell in love with it instantly. After the shop closed, I endeavored to recreate the mix and spent several years working up my own copycat version (you can find it in my second e-book, Vegan Glass Jar Goodies).
Flowers are a currently trendy addition to baked goods and cocktails and I am certainly not one to discourage their use. In fact, I've pinned a number of recipes containing lavender to my Herbal Inspirations board on Pinterest, but a theme among them I'm not fond of is using the whole flower instead of steeping it into another liquid or using an extract instead. I'm just not crazy about pft-pft-pfting flower buds off of my lips in order to have a flavorful drink!
I've taken it upon myself to come up with a solution; for the next couple of months, I will be sharing with you as many recipes using lavender extract as is possible. Anticipate baked goods, frosting, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, and who knows what else. But first, let's begin with the recipe for lavender extract iself.
This one couldn't be easier; combine the two ingredients in a mason jar. Screw on the lid and let sit in a dark, cool cabinet for 3-4 weeks. Afterwards, strain from one jar into another, separating the extract from the herb itself. Discard the now nearly colorless buds and keep the dark purple and incredibly fragrant extract sealed and in a cabinet, using when needed. It will keep for a very long time.
How to Use
In the coming weeks I will be publishing my own recipes containing this extract but in the meantime here is my advice. Many bloggers recommend simply swapping out vanilla extract for lavender extract but the flavor of your finished product can vary depending on the freshness of your herbs and the quality of your vodka. Also, if you haven't used it in your recipes before you may find the flavor too strong (like eating soap). I would recommend using 1/4 teaspoon in whatever recipe you're using it in, taste testing the batch, drink, whatever, then adding more in 1/4 teaspoon increments if you so desire. The last thing you want is for it to be overpowering!
I have been trying to find other recipes that USE lavender extract online but can only seem to find recipes for MAKING lavender extract. Do you have any recipes that use lavender extract? I would love to check them out! Please leave a link in a comment. Or if you have a great idea for a lavender flavored recipe, I'd like to hear about that, too. I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you for visiting my recipe blog. Chocolate Chipotle is all about the power of small things; each and every one of my original recipes showcases a tiny ingredient that packs a big and flavorful punch. I invite you to share my love of herbs, spices, and gourmet findings in your own kitchen. Please, browse by ingredient (see below) or Recipe Index.
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