Mother-in-laws can be the cause of a lot of anxiety around the holidays. Don’t let yours get to you and make these sweet lavender cookies too! Here’s my recipe for yummy cookies and therapy to help you deal with your difficult mother-in-law.



  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons dried edible lavender flowers (Look for dried lavender flowers in spice shops. If using lavender from the garden, make sure it hasn’t been treated with chemicals)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt



  1. In a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine the flour, lavender, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Therapy: While this mixture mixes, take a minute to write down the common problems that you have with your MIL. Write down a list. After you have your list, try to look at this from HER point of view, and write down why you think she’s acting this way. What are you both always fighting about? Or how do you clash? Are there common themes? She may feel less important to her child (or still see them as a child rather than someone’s spouse). She may have difficulty standing behind someone else in their child’s life. She simply may be a completely different person from you. Understanding the reasoning behind her behavior instead of taking it personally will make it easier to deal with.


  1. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Therapy: Look at your list and see what themes you have. Visualize the scenarios with her that always manage to get under your skin. What is it that is said or done that makes your blood boil? Once you determine those triggers think about ways in which you can avoid them. Avoiding certain topics of conversation. Having a code word for your husband or partner to intervene. Leave the room. Change the conversation.


  1. Sprinkle with large granulated sugar on top. Therapy: tell yourself that you are no longer allowing guilt to be used as a weapon against you! And breathe a breath of fresh air. Whenever you feel like she is attempting to manipulate you by making you feel guilty, bring the whole matter to her attention by asking, “You’re not trying to make me feel guilty, are you?” (Practice saying this out loud while doing this step. ) You don’t want to be rude, but put a stop to the use of guilt as a weapon. By putting it in the room is disables the power that guilt lives on. If you refuse to engage the guilt, you can see that she is probably using guilt because she feels powerless. Because of you, your relationship with your partner, whatever. If you can address her sense of powerlessness, you have the opportunity to transform the relationship for good. Yes! This works! Try saying something in front of the family to flatter her such as, “We usually reserve Friday nights for dinner with Mom and Dad. We need family time with them.” This gives her a sense of importance in front of everyone and helps her feel needed and wanted.


  1. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Therapy: Establish your own boundaries to use moving forward and write them down. Examples of some boundaries would be: being firm in your plans and not wavering when pushed. Keeping consistency in your actions, words, and behaviors. Establishing a system that works best for you and your family and sticking to it.


— Allison