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 8, 2009

Candied Pansies -- A Spring Tradition

As soon as we can every in March, we plant pansies. They are such a breath of fresh air after the dreariness of winter. For winter on the prairie may be cold but it isn't often white -- I think of winter as brown -- brown grass, brown leafless trees.

We buy flats and flats of them and put them in as many pots as we can.
But then in June (and sometimes in May) comes heat . . . and pansies do not like heat and so they wither and must be pulled up and replaced with summer annuals.

But I hate to see them go and so I pick all the blossoms and candy them. To decorate cakes and cookies in the winter.
It's easy to do. Take egg white, brush on the pansy blossoms. Sprinkle with sugar and lay on parchment to dry.
Besides pansies, I also had some violas in on of my pots. The violas, in whites and purples were not much bigger than violets.

I have a special tin that I keep the flowers in until I need them. I think they look perfect decorating cakes or cupcakes frosted with chocolate or white icing.It's always interesting to see what homemade things are worth and I found the crystalized flowers at Sur La Table -- 25 for $39.95 (plus shipping). My tray of pansies almost 50 of them! Certainly worth an afternoon's work. And bragging rights that I, myself, candied the flowers that came from my garden.

And to celebrate the last of the pansies, I had a friend over for tea. The cookies decorated with the candied pansies were perfect with the pot of Earl Grey.
On perfect viola bloom atop each cookie. Makes the cookies seem extra special.
A confession, however, the cookies were not Linderhof baked but rather bakery bought. Time has been precious lately and alas, no time to bake. But even bakery cookies are made a bit special with their candied flower decoration.


Keetha Broyles said...

Well - - - I learned something new!!! I've never HEARD of such a thing!!! How do they taste?

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a wonderful idea!

Martha said...


niartist said...

I had NO IDEA that you could candy pansy blossoms. I mean - I've never had one, nor seen one before - but they're such a FANTASTIC idea! You know - we live in similar planting climates, and this was my first year to do pansys. I LOVE THEM, and will do them again and again. For me, they'll be a standby - just as fiesta impatiens and sweet potato vine are in the summer. You're always awe inspiring! Thanks!

Anne Marie said...

I have never tried that, but looks super cute, especially for a tea party!

thanks for stopping by Na-Da Farm yesterday.....can't wait to see more of your homesteading.....

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

You can do this to rose petals too. I like to use superfine sugar.

Martha said...

Actually, you can do it with mint leaves, scented geranium leaves. I sometimes do leaves for a tea party but I do the pansies to keep.

Artie -- Pansies are a definite plant at Linderhof -- their season is short but I justify the cost (of those flats and flats that I buy) by the joy that they give me (and the candied flowers in the winter)

Decor To Adore said...

I have always wanted to do this!

Our bird babies are hummingbirds. This is our second set this season. I did a week by week growth on the last batch.

Peg said...

On my shopping list is "one carton of annuals" to replace the pansies I planted last fall. (Amazingly, pansies survive the winter here. They don't bloom much but the plants mature so they bloom, bloom, bloom come spring.) I specifically put ONE carton on the list because I am apt to return with half the store's inventory... I love flowers! So anyway... when I pull up those pansies, I now have a use for them!

The new table you showed yesterday looks great. I like to change things around too. Keeping things in your house in the same place is kind of like wearing the same outfit every day, isn't it?

Marilyn said...

I know what you mean when you say winter is brown. Sometimes we get a blizzard and the drifts on the north can last a LONG time, but everything else is bare. I love pansies, too!

Rattlebridge Farm said...

I have made candied violets, and oh, they are divine. These cookies are gorgeous!