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 have been growing nasturtium, an edible plant, for several years now. This year I planted a bunch of new edible flowers in my garden: bachelor buttons, gem marigolds, bright lights cosmos, and chamomile. I always save the seed packets so I can identify new plants once (if!) they pop up. Well somehow I lost one particular seed packet, so all summer I assumed the pretty plants with scalloped leaves and purple flowers were just pretty weeds. In fact so many started popping up that I almost pulled them, fearing they were too invasive!
Anyway, I was recently at an event at Feedfeed where they had created a fantastic edible flower/herb table-scape, and recognized my mystery plant! Turns out it’s called 'Lavender Hyssop.' It’s a perennial in the mint family, and has the most delicate licorice scent & flavor. What’s interesting is that it tastes slightly sweet. So it’s wonderful added to salads, or as a cocktail garnish. Traditionally it’s used to make tea & sachets...and commercially to flavor root beer and liqueurs. Seeds are mainly from Botanical Interests.
EDIBLE FLOWER SHORTBREAD
Yield: About 3 dozen 2.5" cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/8 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
edible flowers (quantity depends on whether you're mixing them into dough or just decorating tops)*
edible leaves, chopped (optional)*
extra sugar for sprinkling
coarse sea salt for sprinkling
*should be organic/pesticide free. not all flowers and leaves are edible. please research.
You will also need:
Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
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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