After such a long winter, we are all looking to enjoy spring flowers in every way possible! This includes incorporating the edible varieties into recipes to make them extra special.
Pansies are a traditional edible flower and their lovely faces are so spring-like. Many other varieties are available to explore, as well. Culinary herbs have edible flowers – such as lavender, oregano, chamomile, borage or any member of the onion family, including chives. Some of my favorites to use in salads are daylilies, squash blossoms, nasturtiums and calendula. Throughout the season, you may find some surprises blooming in your backyard that you never knew you could eat!
One fun way of using edible flowers is to decorate these perfectly sweet cookies for a special occasion. The basic recipe below is a great start for inspiring creativity – you can also add a little lemon zest and/or lavender paste for extra flavor.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar +2 tsp for sprinkling
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Fresh pansy blossoms
- Add sugar and butter to a food processor and pulse to combine. Scrape the bowl down and add flour and vanilla extract while mixing on low, then pulse until the dough comes together in clumps.
- Flour a surface and gently push the dough into a smooth, flat disc. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
- While the dough is chilling, remove pansy stems and place the blossoms face down on parchment paper. Cover them with another piece of parchment paper, then place a cookie sheet (flat side) on top of them with a couple of books for weight (to gently flatten the blossoms).
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut rounds with a cookie cutter (or small glass). Place rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes. They will not be brown, but pale and soft, just starting to change color on the bottom when ready to take out of the oven.
- Gently press pansy blossoms into the hot cookies; the heat will adhere them to the cookies. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. They will firm up as they cool.