Spring is almost here, so it's time to pack up the dismal grays and ominous blacks and pull out the pastels. And by pastels, I mean lavender.
Although I may not really wear much of it--it washes me out frankly--I am a big big fan of the pretty flowering plant that helps alleviate anxiety and promote restful sleep. In my house you can currently find seven bars of lavender-scented soap, one bottle of lavender lotion, lavender scented dish detergent and lavender sheet spray. I even have a tiny lavender sachet in my purse that I take a deep whiff of whenever I feel too keyed up. It's cheaper than Paxil and smells like a country meadow.
Inspired by one of my favorite baking blogs, Darjeeling Dreams, I decided to try my hand at baking with the pretty purple flower. The taste is not enjoyed by all; some find it a bit too perfume-y for their tastes. Be that as it may, if these little cupcakes do taste of perfume they are more Quelques Fleurs than Old Spice.
I bought my baking lavender in a little brown bag at the Union Square Greenmarket. Be sure and purchase lavender specifically for cooking and baking. If you all start pouring lavender essential oil in your cupcake batter, I'd feel pretty terrible about it. You can find some dried lavender appropriate for baking here and here.
The recipe I used for lavender cupcakes is posted here at Darjeeling Dreams. Please note that I made regular buttercream frosting with just a bit of crushed lavender and the teensiest sprinkle of sea salt because I didn't have any mascarpone on hand. The recipe here makes a very small batch of miniature cupcakes, so don't be surprised--or get anxious--if you eat them all in one sitting.