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Berries Sorbet & Lavender Shortbread Cookies Sorbet Sandwiches

Triple Berry Sorbet

Since Winter never really got here, we are and have been in Spring like mode for quite a few weeks over here. Local seasonal produce has been changing rapidly. Peas are sprouting, winter squash are disappearing. Asparagus are in, wild blackberries and raspberries are popping out in by the marsh behind our house. Strawberries are just a couple of weeks away.

Berry Heaven

Along with the produce, my whole being makes a little switch. In that time in between mosquitoes and scalding heat, I wake up and immediately open up the windows, I go to bed without pulling the mosquito screens. I continuously check for the progress of the seedlings I planted. Impatiently.

Berry Sorbet and Lavender Shortbread Sandwiches

You can feel a natural tingling in the air, to everything and everyone at Spring is approaching. It always gives me inspiration and energy. At home, it means a thorough clean out of the studio and re-organizing equipment and files. Recycling, giving, de-cluttering. Making a space that allows my thoughts to grow even wilder.


In the kitchen, recipes change less than the ingredients they use but soups tend to get lighter and colder, salads take on many more fresh herbs and sprouts. Cakes, cupcakes and such make ways for lots more custards, creams and sorbets. A lot more berries are popping in desserts and sometimes in salads lately.

Hautes Alpes

This time of year always make me long for home. The valleys and mountains of Provence and the Hautes Alpes where I grew up. Lavender, thistle, thyme, rosemary. Picking blackberries and raspberries on the side of the roads with my parents. Making lots and lots of blackberry tarts for my dad. Watching my mom stir a long wooden spoon in a heavy copper jam pot. Watching her pull out her sorbetiere to churn homemade treats.

Berry Sorbet and Lavender Shortbread Sandwiches

I picked enough blackberries the other day to have enough for a cobbler or a tart but I was really craving sorbet instead. With raspberries and blueberries left over from a shoot the other day, I had plenty to make that sorbet I so desired. I made two small batches, one I left with nice bits of fruits in it and one I pureed smooth to sandwich with lavender shortbread cookies.

Hautes Alpes

Lavender, berries, cookies, sorbet. A fabulous trip down memory lane. And lots of nice treats to share with our neighbors.

Before I leave you, I wanted to share with you two little big things that I had the privilege to do this past month. One was to have some of my photographs used as a backdrop during a Donna Karan’s event for her non profit foundation, Urban Zen. I was in good company with fellow photographers Matt Armendariz and Lindsay Morris. You can see pictures of the event by clicking here and a recap of the foundation’s event here.

I am also extremely honored to have been asked by Heirloom Book Bo. to have my photography on exhibit for the next couple of months. The opening reception took place recently and it was an awesome thing to share with friends. You can find pictures and more info about the exhibit here and here. None of this, work and accolades, would be possible without your constant support and appreciation. Thank you!

Triple Berry Sorbet

Berries Sorbet and Lavender Cookies:

Makes 4 cups (sorbet) and about 1 dozen cookies

1 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups water
zest and juice of one lemon

In a medium saucepan set over medium high heat, place the berries and the rest of the ingredients and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Puree until smooth in a blender or food processor and then strain through a fine mesh chinois (strainer). Process in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can also let the mixture cool completely and churn without pureeing it smooth. It will give you a chunkier sorbet.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies:

Makes 12 cookies for sandwiches

1& 3/4 cups all-purpose flour or Jeanne’s Gluten Free All Purpose Mix
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons fresh edible lavender
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Position a rack in the middle.
In a bowl stir together flour, sugar, and cornmeal. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in lavender. Add milk. Stir with fork to combine and form into ball. Knead until smooth and divide in half.
On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2-inch square cookie cutter, cut out dough.
Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack. Cool.
To store: Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature up to 3 days. Or freeze unfilled cookies up to 3 months.

To make sorbet sandwiches:
Spread about 2 cups of the sorbet in a 8×8 square pan and freeze until firm. With the same cookie cutter used for the lavender shortbread, cut out square of sorbet. Sandwich between two lavender cookies and freeze again until firm.

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MikeVFMK March 13, 2012 um 1:05 am

Stellar, Helene! Really brilliant stuff. Love the photos but really love the recipes. And huge congrats on the exhibit, well deserved.

fabiola March 13, 2012 um 1:27 am

This is so lovely, the pictures are amazing, and the combination of shortbread and sorbet has left my mouth watering! I love shortbread cookies, and fruity sorbet, so I cannot wait to make these. Our berry season wont come for a couple more months, but believe me when it does, I will be making this. Thank you!

Averie @ Averie Cooks March 13, 2012 um 1:52 am

those sorbet cookies are PERFECT. I have no idea how you pulled off perfectly frozen food that doesn't melt a drop or make one ill-placed drop or melty spot or crumb anywhere…you're the food styling master, clearly ๐Ÿ™‚ But I already knew that!

Helene March 13, 2012 um 2:21 am

Thanks guys!

Averie: very little to do with styling. I just set my frame (composition, light, bounces, WB, etc..) with a dummy first then switch to the real ice cream. So within 2 minutes, I am done.
Practice that trick (in my book you own :)) and it will save you lots of headaches.

Rebecca March 13, 2012 um 2:56 am

Looks like perfection to me! Wow, what a brilliant combination of flavors.

Unknown March 13, 2012 um 3:17 am

I do know how you must miss your home. We stayed in a tiny village called Saigon in Provence last year. It was heavenly and surrounded by lavender everywhere. BTW, I do the same here in TX…open the front windows first thing in the morning and get all that cool air in.

Lisa Ho March 13, 2012 um 4:13 am

OMG … these are so beautiful~ the dessert, the photos, the post…awww… I want to be in France during Springtime ๐Ÿ˜€

Athena March 13, 2012 um 4:40 am

Beautiful, I especially adore the shot of the sandwiches in the Ovenex pan. Congrats on the Donna Karan event and the photography exhibit.

Courtney J March 13, 2012 um 4:41 am

Such beautiful, bright colours ๐Ÿ™‚ Love this post. Definitely gives off the feeling of spring.

Anonymous March 13, 2012 um 6:31 am

The sorbet is perfect and the cookies very delicated.
Love photos.

Stephanie Hadrath March 13, 2012 um 9:06 am

Wow …will try it !!! Hope to do it well …it will be a surprise for the family!!!


growntocook March 13, 2012 um 9:21 am

Last times tomatoes and now blackberries? I will have to wait for these till August! I clearly live in the wrong climate! Could do without the mosquitoes though ๐Ÿ™‚

london bakes March 13, 2012 um 10:04 am

Just reading this post, I am transported to the hills of Provence. I can almost smell the lavender bushes. Just lovely.

David @ Frenchie and the Yankee March 13, 2012 um 11:54 am

I absolutely love all of the flavors from this post. Stunning.

Definitely something to make in the summer for me.

Susan P March 13, 2012 um 1:19 pm

Very pretty! Your flavors jump right off the page. You've inspired my own photography which is so primitive. I would love to attend one of your workshops and learn more.

Tugs Girl March 13, 2012 um 1:44 pm

So beautiful! Culinary lavender lends such a wonderful flavor and perfume beyond the standard herbes de Provence. I love having another recipe to introduce lavender to my skeptical friends!

Anonymous March 13, 2012 um 2:59 pm

So lovely Helene, congratulations on this beautiful post, and well deserve exhibition opportunities. Your work and talent inspires so many, myself included. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous March 13, 2012 um 3:00 pm

Beautiful Helene! Congratulations in another lovely refreshing post an your recent exhibition opportunities, so well deserved. Your work and talent inspire so many including myself…. Well done!

Unknown March 13, 2012 um 4:05 pm

Beautiful sandwiches, Helene. Bravo. =)

erica March 13, 2012 um 4:35 pm

ah, les photos sont vraiment belles, comme toujours. et par la suite j'ai envie de voyager en france! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kiran @ March 13, 2012 um 4:36 pm

Gorgeous!! I love the flavor combo of berries and lavender. Spring is so beautiful and bountiful with colors!

ps: Where did you get the bowls from? The ones that holds fresh berries? ๐Ÿ™‚

Sharyn Dimmick March 13, 2012 um 4:45 pm

The shortbread and sorbet combination cut into squares and tied with a ribbon is just beautiful. The photos make me want to make some, but it is too early for berries here. Congratulations on your shows and opportunities.

baker in disguise March 13, 2012 um 4:50 pm

So fresh.. I absolutely adore berries.. so the sorbet jumped right out at me!! and the can keep looking at them!!

baker in disguise March 13, 2012 um 4:50 pm

So fresh.. I absolutely adore berries.. so the sorbet jumped right out at me!! and the can keep looking at them!!

brookeO March 13, 2012 um 5:40 pm

The sorbet alone looks amazing. Is there any way to make it without an ice cream maker?

Helene March 13, 2012 um 6:46 pm

Kiran: they are all from Suite One Studio on etsy.

Brooke): freeze the mixture for 2 hours, whip in an electric mixer, freeze 2 hours, whip again- repeat one more time.

Thanks everyone!

Lisa Price March 13, 2012 um 7:38 pm

This post is brilliant! I absolutely love your blog, now following religiously. Keep up the amazing posts. Xo.

Lynda March 13, 2012 um 8:49 pm

The sorbet looks delicious! I can't wait for berry season!

terri March 13, 2012 um 9:26 pm

congratulations on the exhibits–it's a well-deserved recognition of your work!

Nieves March 13, 2012 um 9:54 pm

Dreamy pics as usual… the color of that sorbet is amazing. Great post I loved it

Willa March 13, 2012 um 10:15 pm

This makes me so wishful that summer was already here! Delicious pictures!

Helen in CA March 14, 2012 um 1:30 am

And here in Northern CA there won't be berries for months. We don't even have the flowers yet that will be coming soon 'cause it's spring. Grey/cold/rainy (tho bless the rain, it's been dry this year)

Certainly will save this for mid-summer. After all, I've a backyard of blackberry plants!

Anonymous March 14, 2012 um 2:27 am

Thanks for your lovely thoughts and photos on Spring! It's definitely still winter here in the PNW, and I've been longing for fresh peas, strawberries, and rhubarb- and sun!

WokandSpoon March 14, 2012 um 6:21 am

Lovely scenery! Winter here has been grey cold and rainy as well.
Love the sorbet sandwich!

Unknown March 14, 2012 um 6:15 pm

The photograph with the aloe in the basket is just amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!

Rocky Mountain Woman March 14, 2012 um 8:48 pm

Congrats on the exhibit! How fun!

I can't wait for summer and sorbet…


Milena Andrade March 14, 2012 um 8:53 pm

Eu adorei o seu site…
todas as suas receitas, sรฃo linda e saborosos! vou visitar mais vezes! Beijos do Brazil.

Karen @ Sugartown Sweets March 15, 2012 um 12:18 am

The cookies/sorbet look amazing..but the photos even more so!! Congratulations on good things happening with you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Roberta March 15, 2012 um 12:35 pm

Thank you for this beautiful post,
The sorbet is really mouth watering!
The photos are awesome, as usual, and I love the combination of red + turqoise colours!

Me And My Sweets March 15, 2012 um 2:31 pm

I fell i love! Stunning pictures and now I'm craving for sweets:-)

gigi March 15, 2012 um 8:10 pm

wow! beautiful photos and the sorbet looks amazing!



food and beauty blogger @

Monica Bennett March 16, 2012 um 4:21 pm

Beautiful photography and that blue pitcher? I am in love!! Would you mind sharing where you found it? Thank you!!!

Helene March 16, 2012 um 7:36 pm

Monica: it's from a Swedish company called Greengate. I get deliveries from my parents when they come visit.

Anonymous March 17, 2012 um 4:35 pm

Such beautiful photos. I wish spring was right around the corner here in Calgary, Alberta. Still a few months away until I will be picking my own berries (patience, patience…) I think some store bought blackberries might have to do for now. Delicious!

Rollstempel March 18, 2012 um 10:59 am

yummi – now the summer can come up ;O) thanks for the great photos and this article!

Anonymous March 21, 2012 um 6:24 pm

This is such a beautiful post!

Laurie @ limonata March 21, 2012 um 7:57 pm

I grow my own lavender which I use for tea. So, I made your lavender shortbread recipe…it is "to die for". This recipe will be wonderful to experiment with different variations, although I have a feeling that this will be my favorite! Thanks, Helene!

Olga April 23, 2012 um 7:21 pm

Wow! You deserved that invitations! Your photos are fantastic and fabulous. Your photography inspires me every day! And you recipes too!

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