FOR THE BISCUITS:
- 2 tbsp mascarpone
- 225g / 8oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3 cups plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
FOR THE FLOWERS:
- 3–4 dozen organic, untreated, edible flowers (pansies, calendula, geraniums, roses, violets)
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1. For the biscuits, beat together the mascarpone, butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
2. Mix in the vanilla and egg until well combined.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Add the flour mixture and lemon zest to the butter mixture, and beat until incorporated.
5. On a floured bench, shape the dough into two round discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C / 350 ̊F / Gas Mark 4.
7. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
8. Take the dough out of the
fridge and let it rest for
9. Dust your bench and rolling pin with flour.
10. Roll out the dough to a 7mm / 1/4 ̋ thickness.
11. Cut out biscuits using cookie cutters and pop them on the lined baking trays.
12. Bake for 9 minutes, until the biscuits are set but still pale and underdone.
13. Pop on a wire rack to cool slightly.
14. Leave the oven on and set the lined baking trays aside.
15. Lay out your edible flowers on some baking paper.
16. Place the egg white in a small bowl and the unrefined sugar in another small bowl.
17. Gently dunk a flower in the egg white, making sure you get egg white between the petals for an even pressing.
18. Press the flower onto a biscuit and smooth it down with your finger.
19. Once the flower is as flat as possible, use a paintbrush to brush a thin coating of egg white over the entire surface of the biscuit.
20. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of sugar.
21. Pop the flower-topped biscuits back onto the baking tray as you go.
22. Return the biscuits to the oven and bake for 7–8 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden.
23. Cool on a wire rack.
For a good balance of flavour, try a mix of three types: Greens, flower petals/blossoms and fragrant herbs. Start with the greens, such as dandelion, blackcurrant or raspberry leaves, parsley or watercress. Next, add some blossoms or flower petals, such as dandelions,
rose petals, rose geraniums or lavender. Finally, to create depth, add some fragrant herbs. We like to use lemon balm, mint leaves, thyme or lemon verbena. Start with about two-thirds of the greens, and make the final third an equal mix of blossoms and herbs. Once you’ve made a few cups, play around with the quantities to suit your taste.
Trim off any woody stems and old leaves. Put a fat handful of the plants you’ve gathered into a teapot or a very clean coffee plunger, and pour over boiling water. Allow to steep for a few minutes and then pour yourself a fragrant brew. There should be enough flavour left in the plants for at least another top-up of boiling water.
This recipe is from Issue 4. Want more? Like Tips for dealing with an anxious child? Or Saving the world from boredom: one kid at a time? Order issues from our Shop here