It’s a fun time of year when the edible flowers begin their blooming fanfare. Spring came a bit early to California but if these flowers are still shivering in your area, you have a few weeks to think about these cookies.
Harvesting lilacs as edibles is simple: Cut a dozen flowers and remove their blossoms from the stem. Our blossoms come off pretty easily. It will take only a few minutes to fill the two-cup measure for this recipe. You may need 10-15 flowers to do so. Here in California we’re in the middle of a drought and our blooms are a bit on the “spindly” side. I do hesitate to make a generalization about the number of flowers you may need, but that gets you in the ballpark.
I don’t rinse the blossoms. Ours start fairly clean. If yours are located on a dusty road, you might pick them a day in advance, rinse them well while still on the stem and just place them in a vase overnight to keep them fresh. Allow them to dry and then remove the blossoms the next morning.
As for cookie flavor, the lilac flavor is delicate but fun. Don’t expect its distinct fragrance to come through completely in the cookie. Some flavor is definitely lost in the baking. We tasted this cookie with a “half quantity” of lilac and it was delightful. (Who doesn’t love a butter cookie anyway?) The quantity listed below was the taste test winner by far.
Lilac Butter Cookie Ingredients
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 c butter
- 1 c sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract (or the zest of one lemon)
- 2 cups lilac blossoms
Lilac Butter Cookie Steps
- Allow butter to soften for a few hours before your project.
- Cream butter in a mixer.
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Rough-chop the blossoms and add them to the butter. Allow the butter to sit with the blossoms as you work on the rest of the recipe.
- Combine the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add sugar, egg, and lemon extract to the butter mixture. Blend well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixer. Blend well.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls, arrange them on a cookie sheet, and flatten them with your hand or a rolling pin.
- Bake until they begin to brown lightly on the bottom, about 10 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes and gently lift them from the cookie sheet with a spatula before cooling completely.