"Fresh as Springtime" Cookies!

This past week, I was invited to present a segment for KSL TV's Studio 5 with Brooke Walker. I love being on the show, and the entire staff is such a pleasure to work with. I am always amazed at how fluid they run the show, and what a great show host Brooke is! So much fun!


This Food Blog is all about the Recipes, so please go here to my Creative Blog at www.AdventuresofaBusyBee.com for MORE pictures and additional information about ALL of these cookies. For a great list of Edible plants and Flowers, please visit this website.

 

Thanks for stopping by, and here are the recipes! (There is a "print-friendly" button at the bottom of the post for your use). Don't forget to check out the close up pics of all the cookies on my other blog. :) 

 


Sour Cream Coconut Cookies

This recipe is for a large batch and makes 4-5 dozen, depending on your cutter size. These keep their shape and don’t spread, and they stay soft. Cut them thicker for larger shapes.

350° for 11-13 minutes

1 cup Butter
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 Egg, plus 1 Egg Yolk
1 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (or extract)
1 tsp Almond Extract
4 3/4 cups Flour (plus more for rolling and cutting)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Fine Sea Salt

Mix butter and coconut oil and well blended and creamy. Add sugar and cream until volume increases and turns lighter in color. Add in eggs, and blend until well mixed. Add sour cream and extracts and combine well.

Stir flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl with a whisk. Slowly add to wet mixture until well blended. **Make sure to scrape sides and bottom throughout process.

Divide dough in half or thirds, flatten into disks and wrap well in plastic. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling.

This is a very moist dough, so make sure to use adequate flour when you roll and cut out the shapes. Sprinkle the surface underneath each time you roll so it doesn’t stick. Scraps can be re-rolled several times, but try to work them in with an un-floured piece of dough each time.


Coconut Buttercream:

1/3 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Butter
3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Almond Milk (or cream, or milk of choice)
1 tsp Almond Extract
Coloring, optional

Have both the butter and the coconut oil well softened (not melted) before beginning. Cream well.  Add the powdered sugar slowly, incorporating some of the liquid as you go. Add extract and coloring. Store excess in refrigeration.



Lemon Thyme Shortbread

This recipe uses a variety of Thyme that has a strong lemon flavor. You can substitute regular thyme, but the taste will be slightly different. You can also make this with other fresh herbs such as Rosemary, Basil or Mint (chop the leaves very finely), or with Lavender blossoms. If using one of these instead, you may want to try cutting out the lemon juice and zest and substituting with orange or just more vanilla (plus some cream for the liquid). The possibilities are endless with the basic base. This version is sweet tart and perfect for a little bite of decadence on a buffet or for gifts. Top with Glaze or the Buttercream, and a sprig of herb.

325° for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned

8 oz Butter (I recommend a European Butter for all, or at least half, of it)
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed, if possible)
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (or extract)
2 cups Flour
1/4 cup fresh Lemon Thyme leaves (stripped from the stem…no need to chop the leaves)
1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 tsp Lemon Zest

Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice and paste, and blend until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, leaves, salt and zest until well coated with the flour. Add to the butter mixture and blend until all the dry is incorporated.

With slightly damp fingers, press into your desired pan. A ¼ sheet pan yields thin pieces, but it will fit and is a good size for buffet bites. A smaller pan will give you thicker pieces, which are good for gift giving.


Lemon Glaze

This makes enough to glaze the shortbread base. Other juice or milk can be substituted for a different flavor. If using milk or cream, make sure to add an extract as well.

¼ cup Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar

Combine well and spread over the moderately cooled crust (about 20 minutes out of the oven). Allow to rest for an hour after glazing before cutting into squares.


Lemon Buttercream

This makes enough to give a generous dollop on each piece of shortbread, or top frost the tops only of cupcakes or a sheet cake. You’ll want to double it for other purposes.

1/2 cup Butter
1/3 cup Lemon Pie Filling, or Lemon Curd
1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
2 cups Powdered Sugar

Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the lemon filling and paste, and mix until well blended, scraping the sides as needed. Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until fully incorporated. Store excess in refrigeration.
  

Vanilla Bean Shortbread

This is a good shortbread base for shaping with cutters as well as the traditional wedge shape. It has a good crumb to it, but it’s not too crumbly. Adapts easily to coloring because of the egg yolk in the mix.**

Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes, depending on how dark you like your shortbread.

1 cup Butter (European, if possible)
2/3 cups Powdered Sugar
1 egg yolk
1 TBL Vanilla Bean Paste (recommended over Extract)
2 cups Flour
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
3 TBL Cornstarch
Food coloring, if desired **Mix with the egg yolk before adding it to the butter and sugar

Cream the butter well, and then add the powdered sugar. When fully incorporated, blend in the egg yolk and paste.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and cornstarch with a whisk. Slowly add to the butter mixture.

For traditional wedges:  Shape into a circle and score wedges before baking.

For cut-outs: Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for one hour before rolling and cutting. Use as little flour as possible in the process. If the dough starts to be too soft, place it back in the fridge for a while.



Directions for Decorating the Pansy-topped Cookies:
 
You will need:
~Fresh cut pansies and violas (grown without pesticides!)
(See this link for more info on Edible Flowers: http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/blflowers.htm)

~Meringue Powder, Egg White Powder, or Refrigerated Egg Whites (NO real eggs)

~Water to dilute, and a small bowl for fingertips

~Small tipped sharp scissors

~Silicone brush and food safe paintbrushes (not natural bristles on either kind)

~Tweezers (long handled for crafting or medical work best)

~Sugar crystals of choice (Can be found with Cake Decorating supplies)


Directions:


Wash flowers and allow to dry upside down on a paper towel. Don’t pick them more than 20 minutes in advance because they will start to dry out and curl up. If you have to, you can pre-pick them and store them in a breathable container in your fridge with a slightly damp paper towel underneath. They will last for a day this way. (Also, remember that pansies are not in bloom in the middle of the summer, so you may have to substitute with another flower. Rose petals would be great, but they do have a stronger flavor than pansy varieties. Check out the link for more ideas).

Mix the egg white mixture as needed. Dilute 1 tsp powder with 1 TBL water, or add 1/2 tsp water to 1 TBL liquid egg whites (NOT liquid eggs with yolks or coloring)

Prepare your area: Egg whites and brushes, water for fingertips, a rack to sprinkle sugar on top of the finished cookies

Once you are ready to start assembling the cookies, you can cut the calyx off of the back of each flower. This may take some practice, so have some extra flowers available. And keep in mind that you CAN piece together petals on top of the cookies, so if some break apart, don’t toss them. The idea is to have them lay as flat as possible on top of the cookie. Cut all your flowers before you start any assembly…it will make the process much easier.
For assembly, brush the top of each cookie completely with the egg white mixture. Do this one at a time as you assemble each cookie.

Gently pick up your flower(s), and place on top of the cookie where you want it to be. Using a finger dipped into water first, lightly press the flower into the egg white. Using a brush, add more egg white on top of each flower, and underneath petals where they overlap if needed. You can use tweezers to move petals around, or add petals, if needed. This is when a small brush will come in handy also.

When you’re happy with your design, sprinkle with sugar of your choice and set aside. Continue with all cookies and flowers until you’re done! Aren’t they beautiful?

The cookies will keep for a couple of days, but keep them covered so the flowers don’t dry out more. I don’t recommend freezing them, as the flowers will become brittle and flake off.

Remember to check out my other blog for more pics and info on these cookies!

 



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2 comments:

Jann Olson said...

How fun Emily! The cookies all sound delicious and I love the beautiful presentation! Pansies are the perfect Spring topper. I am pinning and can't wait to try a few. I love using the herbs in my garden. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

BusyBee Emily said...

Thanks Jann! You'll have to show me pictures when you make some! :)