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When spring hits, my garden goes bananas. The herbs, the flowers, the colors! As a private chef and caterer, I’ve always loved incorporating the edible flowers I grow into my dishes, but one day I realized I could combine the age-old romance of flower pressing with my signature shortbread cookies and the result is *chef’s kiss*! With just a handful of ingredients (and an easy extra step in the cookie-making process to ensure the petals keep their hues), these cookies are a total win in terms of the effort-to-beauty ratio—and they taste great, too.

Ingredients
Makes 40 cookies
  • 11/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 11/3 cups granulated cane sugar, plus extra for finishing 
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp. fair-trade vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose organic flour
  • 1 cup edible wildflowers, such as bachelor buttons, nasturtiums, violas, pansies, calendula, dianthus, and chamomile; if you don’t grow your own wildflowers, try your local farmers’ market or search online for “edible flowers.” There are a number of sites that will ship overnight.

Instructions

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a bowl with a handheld beater), beat together butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until completely combined (approximately 1 to 2 minutes). Add the yolks and vanilla, then mix until just combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together in a ball.

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Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Press the dough out with your fingers, then place another piece of parchment on top and roll the dough until it’s 1/3" thick.

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Remove the top piece of parchment paper and stamp out your cookies with a 3" round cookie cutter before artfully decorating each round with the fresh flowers and petals.

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Once the flowers have been placed, put a sheet of parchment paper on top (you can reuse the one from before, just make sure it doesn’t crease the cookie dough) and gently roll over each cookie to fix the flowers and herbs in place.

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One by one, remove your flower pressed cookies with an offset spatula and place on a parchment-lined cutting board. (Repeat steps 2 through 4 with any remaining scraps of dough.) Once you have filled up your cutting board with cookies, put it into the freezer overnight (or up to 24 hours). This allows the flowers and herbs to keep their vibrant colors amidst the hot oven temperature. 

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When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the cookies, leaving ¼" space between each. Place the baking sheet in the center rack of the oven, and bake for 9 minutes; rotate the pan and bake for another 8 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

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Transfer to a cooling rack and sprinkle with organic cane sugar. 

By Loria Stern
Photographed by Arna Bajraktarevic
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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