Pansies are one of the 40+ crops you’ll be able to grow in your Farmshelf. They have a mild, evergreen flavor that lends itself well to salads, drinks and desserts. Unlike many edible flowers, you can eat the entire pansy flower – sepals (the green part around the blossom) and all.
The pansy flower most commonly represents love, but also free thinking. So open your mind to the endless culinary potential of this gorgeous blossom!
Float the flowers in beverages and soups. Freeze petals in ice cube trays to add pops of colors to cocktails and sparkling waters.
Pansy flowers are good for candying, and can be used for decorating all kinds of baked goods – you won’t believe how delicious, easy and impressive these cookies are.
“This is the perfect beginner recipe for bringing a little bit of Farmshelf R&D out of the garden and into the kitchen–10/10 recommend!” – Jessica Monte, Director of Plant Science
Pansy Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature (vegan butter works well for this recipe too!)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Assorted fresh pansies (you’ll need about 30, give or take)
- Put the sugar and soft butter into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine completely.
- Add the flour and vanilla, pulse about 10 times, then run the machine briefly, just until the dough comes together into a lump or lumps.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring it together into a smooth flat disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 2 hours.
- While the dough is chilling, carefully remove the stems from the pansies, and place them on a large sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper. Place another sheet on top, and then weigh it down with a baking tray or other large flat surface, topped with several heavy books. Let the pansies press for at least 30 minutes, or overnight if you like.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325F.
- Roll out the dough to a 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with a cookie cutter. I used both a 2 inch and a 2 1/2 inch cutter.
- Bake the cookies in batches, 1 tray at a time. Bake the smaller cookies for 7-8 minutes, and the larger ones for 9-11 minutes, depending on thickness. Your cookies will not brown, they will be pale and soft when done.
- Remove the tray from the oven and gently press the flat pansies onto the hot cookies, pressing slightly to adhere the flowers to the cookies. Don’t press too hard, the heat of the cookies will do the job. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Let the cookies cool completely on a rack.
Note: the cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven, but will firm up as they cool.