This is an update to my 9/7/17 post on candied nasturtiums, which was my first time ever trying out this technique. Since then i've learned a few things, reflected here:
Make sure you use plants that are organic/pesticide free. Also, not all flowers and leaves are edible. Please do your research before feeding plants to anyone. :-)
Nasturtium is an entirely edible plant, flowers and leave. This year I planted a bunch of new edible flowers in my garden: bachelor buttons, gem marigolds, bright lights cosmos, lavender hyssop and chamomile. I always save the seed packets so I can identify new plants once (if!) they pop up. :-)
Seeds are mainly from Botanical Interests.
it's fun to test this candying technique on herbs like mint and basil. i recently candied spearmint from my garden and it came out awesome! i used them on chocolate cookies. see photo below.
photo by @lalalunchbox
I've partnered with Five Acre Farms and Our Name Is Farm to spread the word that June is National Dairy Month! Local dairy farmers across the US are having a super hard time because of the low prices of conventionally-produced dairy products. We can help by buying local dairy products, which are almost always higher quality, transparently-sourced, ethically-produced and better tasting!! I feel so lucky that here in NY we have family-run farms and cooperatives like Five Acre Farms supplying us with awesome local dairy items.
I made these cookie cows with super fresh Five Acre Farms eggs. I just love how the farmer's story is inside each egg carton. The "pasture" is made from chives and lantana from my garden. You can get the cookie & icing recipe below.
My love for buying local food whenever possible started about 20 years ago, back when i was living in San Francisco and frequenting the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. It soon became my Saturday am ritual. I'd stay for hours, getting to know the farmers, and eventually i started working there. My meals seemed even more delicious with that added dimension of knowing where my food comes from, and that sense of community that forms when you are connected to the source.
Yield: About 3 dozen 2.5" cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2.5-3 cups all-purpose flour
You will also need:
Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
4 cups confectioners' sugar (about 1 lb.)
5 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons meringue powder (i like Wilton)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla powder
lemon juice (to replace water)
are you sitting, people?? my first ever blog post.
please be kind.
first, i want to make you a promise: i can't stand having to scroll to the bottom of a post—past a zillion pix—for the recipe. so, i will always put it higher up in the post, wherever makes the most sense.
second, i'd like to apologize in advance: my recipes can be somewhat detailed (read: verbose).
SO, here we go!
combined here are two of my favorite things: sweets and gardening. i've always been curious about candied edible flowers and how they're made. i can't say i've done extensive research, but i'll share what i know so far.
nasturtiums are absolutely one of my fave flowers. in order for a flower to qualify as a favorite, i must love the look of the leaf as much as the flower, since the blooms aren't always around, but the leaves are. and the nasturtium has the prettiest lilypad-like leaves. LOVE.
cocktail party trivia: did you know that they are often planted in vegetable gardens because they attract aphids and other pests away from the vegetables?
AND they are edible! the leaves are also edible and great added to salads. they have a peppery, mustard-y taste.
how can the nasturtium not be a favorite with all these plusses??
enter (a not so controlled) experiment with two test groups:
i read up on Martha's take. and the LA Times. for the meringue powder option, Taste of Home.
then the research phase abruptly ended because i was too excited to start. what can i say? sometimes i lack discipline.
i went out to the garden with my shears and snipped 12 blossoms. i kept about ½" of stem, thinking that may help me handle them better when they're wet.
NOTE: later, during the candying process, i realized it's best to select younger blooms that are not quite completely open because they're sturdier and will hold up better to the process. i found that fully open blooms were more fragile.
i didn't think to take many photos of the process. ok, i lied....i did.
But, i was so darn impatient to see if this would actually work. and my fingers were extremely slimy. and my phone was charging.
egg white solution:
meringue powder solution:
results and observations:
so, please ask any questions...and do let me know if you give it a whirl!
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