Your spring celebrations will blossom with creativity when you add edible flowers to cocktails, salads, and desserts. We partnered with @Moonflower Macarons , a small, locally owned pastry shop in Auburn, New York, to make some treats featuring edible flowers.
Moonflower Macarons specializes in French macarons, which are naturally gluten-free, and offers a dozen flavors that change monthly (how about Salted Lemon Shortbread, Blueberry Pancake or Cocoa-Mocha?), plus seasonally inspired shapes and macaron cakes.
Owner Theresa Mendez loves working with edible dried flowers, which, she says, are lovely additions to macarons, macaron cakes, and custom designs. “They can add a much-needed pop of color to an otherwise monochromatic palette.”
The first step for using edible flowers is to decide if the flowers are to be eaten or are just for decoration. “When the intent is to eat the flower along with the cookie, less is more,” says Mendez. “A few buds of dried lavender can enhance a lavender-lemon or lavender-honey flavor combination. But too much can overpower.”
Mendez has focused on using dried flowers that she orders online that are grown to be edible or used in candles or soaps. She is partnering with a local florist this summer and plans to add fresh flowers to macaron cakes.
Whether your flowers are dried or fresh, be absolutely sure they have been grown to be edible and have not been treated with pesticides. With fresh flowers, wash the petals thoroughly.
A few more ideas for adding edible flowers to the menu:
- Cocktails: Make a cocktail or even plain seltzer water more colorful and fun by adding floral bits to the ice cubes. To make, boil 4 cups of water and completely cool it. Fill ice cube tray halfway, add the flowers, and then freeze. Add additional water that was previously boiled and cooled, filling the trays, and freeze again. Don’t over fill the trays, so the ice can freeze in a level line. Boiling the water is essential to keep the ice cubes clear, so you can see the flowers inside.
- Salads: Add brightly colored nasturtiums, which have a peppery flavor like watercress, to fresh greens.
- Desserts: Decorate a cake with small fresh flowers, such as pansies, roses, lilacs, lavender or peonies, or sprinkle them like confetti. You can also candy the petals, which gives them a sugary crunch. To candy, paint on beaten pasteurized egg white, then sprinkle with superfine sugar. Let harden before adding to the cake.