What I love best about going out to promote my book “Discover Cooking with Lavender” is meeting people and hearing about how they use lavender. This past weekend, Bella Home and Garden invited me to their shop to share my secrets about cooking with lavender. Once again, I met some awe-inspiring people.
When I met Alison, her energy and enthusiasm was obvious. Alison teaches in physical education in an elementary school. On a part-time basis, Alison does bookkeeping and payroll. And if that is not enough to keep her out of trouble, she moonlights creating unique and delicious cookies and brownies. Oh, and she also has two teenage children. I couldn’t help wondering where Alison gets her energy!
Her cookie business is called Alison’s Sweet Themes. Alison and her husband participated in a teacher exchange program in the mid 1990’s in Australia. “Australia has wonderful pastry shops,” she said. “The Australians call their cookies biscuits and bullets.” She went on to tell me about one of her favorites – a small bullet shaped licorice pieces covered in dark chocolate. It was her time in Australia that inspired Alison to begin making specialty cookies and pasties.
For Bella Home and Garden’s Open House, Alison created two lavender-flavored treats: Lavender Brownies with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and Lavender Vanilla Sugar Cookies with Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting. Alison used organic culinary lavender from Purple Haze Lavender Farm to add flavor to her cookies. These treats were some of the best lavender pastries I’ve ever tasted, not to mention how perfect they looked.
Each cookie was packaged in a clear cellophane envelope. The Lavender Brownies were packaged in a small plastic container. I loved the small size of the brownie.
Alison’s dream is to one day open a shop where she can make and sell customized cookies and brownie for weddings, birthdays or other special occasions.
By the way, if you are wondering how you can get a taste of these sumptuous treats, I suggest you go to Tacoma and visit the Hawthorn Tea Room. Alison supplies the tea room with cookies.
If you want to make your own lavender sugar cookies, you can buy organic culinary lavender from Purple Haze Lavender Farm at Bella Home and Garden at Kent Station, just south of Seattle.
If you are not in this area, you can buy organic culinary lavender online directly from several lavender growers such as Purple Haze Lavender Farm, Olympic Lavender Farm or Central Coast Lavender Farm or many others, too.
Meeting Alison was indeed a pleasure. But wait there’s more. I want to tell you about the died hydrangea and lavender wreath I selected at Bella Home and Garden, and the woman who makes perfect lavender lemon cookies with cake mixes, and the lavender peach upside down cake. Alas, these must wait for another day.