1 tablespoon fresh or dried lavender flowers
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Sanding sugar for decorating
Grind together the lavender flowers and granulated sugar using a food processor or a mortar and pestle.
In a medium bowl, combine the butter and lavender-sugar mixture. Beat together using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add flour and salt and blend until combined taking care not to over mix.
Divide the dough into two balls and wrap in plastic, flattening each into a flat disc and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper or leave them ungreased.
Remove only once disc at a time from the refrigerator, and roll dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin to approximately 1/4-inch thick.
Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters and place on prepared baking sheets.
Decorate with sanding sugar and/or lightly press a lavender sprig or leaf into the cookie and top. To keep intricate shapes intact, refrigerate baking sheet with shaped cookies for 10 minutes before baking.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to lightly brown around the edges. Carefully remove and cool on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes about 2 dozen.