Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Monday, June 23, 2008

We say goodbye to the pansies

It’s time to say goodbye to the pansies that are in the flowerboxes front and back at Linderhof. Pansies are one of my favorite flowers and I am always so excited in the fall when they are back on the market.

Often, these fall pansies will last through the winter, blooming when winter days are warm and then really putting on a show once temperatures warm up.

They’re surely my spring friends as they bloom and bloom and I use them often – in salads for their yellows and purples add to the greens of spring lettuces and as a topping for cupcakes and cakes. The purple ones look especially nice on chocolate and I like the yellow or purple ones on a white frosted cake or cupcake.

And although it is time to say goodbye, I savor spring and pansy flowers by candying several cooky sheets full. It’s easy to do. A wee paintbrush (used just for this purpose), egg white and sugar. I cut the stems close to the flowers, then brush with egg white and dip in sugar. I leave on the cooky sheets to fully dry. Their ready to decorate cakes and cupcakes all year long.

I didn’t realize how dear these candied pansies were until I went to a gourmet food store and found my candied pansies – 8 for $24. It would seem that I have a small fortune in the tin in my pantry!

I also like to bake with pansies and these cookies are so pretty and so like spring. I’ll make my last batch with the few pansies I have left after I’ve finished candying the pansy flowers. They’re tasty and great for tea. Iced tea in the garden with a plate of these cookies – a way to say goodbye to spring and hello to summer.


1 cup butter, at room temperature

1-1/2 cup + 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 Tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

3-1/2 cup flour plus extra for dusting

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites

48 clean edible pansy blossoms (one per cookie)

Cream the butter with 1 ½ cups sugar. Mix in the eggs. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and add to the mixture, along with the vanilla.

Sift the cream of tartar, flour and salt together and stir into the creamed mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Gather the dough and wrap in cling wrap or parchment paper. Chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles approximately the size of the pansy blossom. Bake on ungreased cooky sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the tops of the cookies with the egg whites. Place one pansy on top, spreading out the petals and topping with a bit more egg white. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of sugar and cook 5 minutes more. Let cool before serving.

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