I caught drift of a conversation in one of my cooking classes that fascinated me. One of my students was raving about the beautiful flower cookies she had at a wedding at an inn last summer.
It sounded so whimsical. So I got online and searched for a recipe and finally found a clue that there might be one on Martha Stewart’s web site, but still couldn’t find them….not even a picture! However, there was a blog post about using pansies to decorate sugar cookies and that was enough information to get me started.
I was lucky to find organic edible pansies and drove home with two clay pots of them in the passenger’s seat, their flowers and my hair fluttering in the wind from the open window.
When I got home I took out butter to come to room temperature and carefully snipped each beautiful flower from the plants before me.
I decided to make butter shortbread cookies, as they are a breeze to make and amazing dipped into Earl Gray tea.
You begin to make the cookies by mashing soft butter with sugar, vanilla and almond extract.
Pressed Flower Cookies
(recipe adapted from Gourmet Cookbook Shortbread Cookies)
- 2 sticks sweet butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Put the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts into a medium size bowl and with a fork begin to mash the ingredients into the butter.
- Pour half of the flour in, and continue to combine with a fork. Pour in the second half and continue to combine with a fork.
- Do this until a soft dough forms and you can reach down with clean hands and pull it together into a ball.
- Transfer the ball to a clean, floured work surface and flatten with your hands. Roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness.
- With a cookie cutter, cut out cookies from the dough and transfer them to an ungreased baking sheet.
- Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake the cookies until they are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Remove and cool completely.
To continue with the pressed flowers:
- 16 edible pansy flowers
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- Rinse and dry the flowers.
- Beat the sugar into the egg white.
- Brush the beaten egg white mixture onto each cookie with a pastry brush.
- Top each cookie with a flower, pressing with your fingers gently to flatten them.
- Gently brush over the flowers with more of the beaten egg white.
- Put the cookies back on the baking sheet and put back in the oven (375 degrees) for about 5 minutes, until the egg white mixture has dried.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool before serving.