RECIPE: Pansy Shortbread Cookies

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Do you believe in magic? Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved reading stories of the fairy folk living in an enchanted forest, playing with the animals, and sipping tea from rosebud tea cups. If I were ever invited to join them, I’d bring these Pansy Shortbread Cookies to share.

Inspired by the wonders of nature and the magic that can be found within it, I decided to make a batch of cookies fit for fairyland. This recipe is simple to make and so pretty! Make it your own (or please the fairies in your own backyard) by changing up the ingredients to suite your favorite flavors. I chose to make a lavender lemon shortbread cookie using lavender-infused sugar and dried lavender harvested from my garden. You could also try these Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies, these Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies or these Cardamom Orange Zest Shortbread Cookies.

flower-cookies-2Some Tips On Choosing Edible Flowers:

I used a few varieties of pansies that I had growing in my garden but you can experiment with other edible flowers too. Some things to keep in mind…

  • Choose flowers that will fit the shape of the cookie.
  • Only use edible flowers that you can identify correctly
  • Only use edible flowers that are grown organically (pesticide-free).
  • Edible flower suggestions: Chamomile, Johnny-Jump-Ups, Borage, Lavender, Marigolds, Pansies, Rose Petals, Violas, Violets.

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Pansy Shortbread Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 36 Cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup lavender infused sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Fresh, organic pansies
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Fine sugar (for finishing)
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in the flour, sugar and salt; beat on low speed for 1 minute. Crush the dried lavender using a mortar and pestle. Then add the vanilla, lavender and lemon zest to the mixer, beating until just incorporated.
  2. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for approx. 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease baking sheet and set aside.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼" thickness. Cut out with round or scalloped cookie cutters and place 1" apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-18 minutes, until the cookies begin to turn light golden around the edges and on the bottom. Remove from oven and transfer to wire racks to cool.
  4. Once the cookies are all baked and cooled its time to decorate with flowers! Use a pastry brush to brush a cookie with egg white and place a pansy on top. Then brush the pansy all over with egg white and sprinkle with fine sugar.
  5. Repeat with remaining cookies and return them to the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for another 5 minutes, then transfer to the wire racks to cool.

 
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Serve these at your next tea party or package them up as favors at your next fairytale gathering! And don’t forget to leave a few out in your garden for the fairies to enjoy 🙂
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RECIPE: Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

RECIPE: Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies #dessert #herbs #spring #treat
Last week I harvested some fresh thyme from my garden to make a seasoning salt. What I’ve been waiting until now to tell you is that I also made cookies! While researching different things I could make with the flavors of Lemon and Thyme I came across salad dressings, cakes, and even a bruschetta recipe. While I can’t wait to try all of these ideas, I decided on a simple shortbread recipe since I already had the ingredients on hand. The result was a light, refreshingly sweet cookie perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea.

Add a little something extra…

Unfortunately I was in the midst of a flair up while baking these (I suffer from chronic neck and back pain), which meant that I wasn’t able to make the earl grey glaze I was planning on. So I invite you to try it out and let me know how it tastes!

RECIPE: Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies #dessert #herbs #spring #treat

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Approx. 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • Course sugar or granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on high until combined. Next mix in the thyme, lemon peel, lemon juice and cardamom. Slowly add the flour a little at a time and mix until a dough is formed.
  2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick and cut out with your favorite cookie cutter (or you could simply use a knife to cut small squares). Sprinkle cutouts with sugar and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are just lightly brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes approx. 24 cookies.

 

RECIPE: Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies #dessert #herbs #spring #treat

DIY: Easter Inspiration

Easter is just a few days away we’re soaking up some inspiration in preparation for Sunday. I usually keep things pretty simple on Easter. Fresh flowers, dyed eggs, brunch and an easter treat are my favorite ways to celebrate. This year I’m hoping to make something new and even start a new easter tradition. How will you celebrate?

DIY: Easter Inspiration #recipes #craft

1. Bunny Topiary Wreath by The House That Lars Built
2. Egg Shell Candles by PunchBowl
3. Flower Napkins by Source Unknown
4. Bird Nest Votives by NaturKinder
5. Pussy Willow Wreath by Better Homes & Gardens
6. Easter Place Cards by Casa e Trend
7. Sugar Cookie Easter Egg Nests by Lovely Little Kitchen
8. Hot Cross Buns by Delia Online
9. Easter Egg Planter by Angenuity

RECIPE: Rainbow Bars for St. Patrick’s Day

RECIPE: Rainbow Bars for St. Patrick's Day #dessert #treat

I love anything involving rainbows and couldn’t resist trying out this recipe for Rainbow (Fruit Loop) Treats this St. Patrick’s Day. Just like Rice Krispie Treats, these are super easy to make and are the perfect treat to hand out to coworkers or classmates.

RECIPE: Rainbow Bars for St. Patrick's Day #dessert #treat

Rainbow Bars for St. Patrick's Day
 
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Author:
Cuisine: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 12 cups Fruit Loops cereal
  • 16 oz mini marshmallows
  • 6 tablespoons margarine
Instructions
  1. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. In a saucepan, melt the margarine over medium heat. Then add in the marshmallows a little at a time. Stir constantly until the marshmallows have melted completely. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour Fruit Loops cereal into a large bowl and pour the marshmallow mix over the top. Using a buttered spatula (to prevent sticking), stir cereal until it is evenly coated with marshmallow. Then press it into the prepared pan (I used my hands for this- just make sure to butter whatever you use so that you don’t get caught in a sticky mess!) Chill until set then cut into bars.

RECIPE: Rainbow Bars for St. Patrick's Day #dessert #treat

RECIPE: Rainbow Bars for St. Patrick's Day #dessert #treat

Custom labels and cellophane bags courtesy of Evermine.

RECIPE: Guinness Chocolate Syrup

Guinness Chocolate Syrup #stpatricksday #dessert

I ‘pinned’ this recipe a long time ago and with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I had the perfect opportunity to give it a try. One of my favorite treats is having a bowl of vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate syrup. Simply delicious! I made up a double batch of this syrup and brought it to a dinner party (along with some ice cream of course) to serve with dessert. Everyone loved it!

Guinness Chocolate Syrup #recipe #stpatricksday #dessert

Guinness Chocolate Syrup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Guinness beer
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium size pot. Place pot onto the stove and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking and bring the syrup just to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool before bottling. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 2 cups.

Note: Do not leave your kitchen while you are bringing the chocolate to a boil! Watch it like a hawk and turn down the heat as soon as it starts to bubble. It can boil over in an instant, so keep an eye on it or else you’ll end up with a chocolaty stove to clean (I learned this the hard way).

Guinness Chocolate Syrup #recipe #stpatricksday #dessert

Labels and tags courtesy of Evermine

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink
I’ve had my eye out for something special to make for Valentine’s Day this year. When I spotted this recipe for Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies I couldn’t resist giving it a try. Not only are these cookies PINK but they’re also strawberry flavored and have a white chocolate center!

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

These cookies are another spend-all-afternoon-in-the-kitchen type of dessert, which I don’t mind as long as I can take my time and enjoy the process. In an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Using a separate bowl, combine the egg with the strawberry and vanilla extracts. Beat together then pour into the butter/sugar mix. Mix well.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add it, ½ cup at a time, to the mixer until fully combined. Now you should have a nice dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky, so add more flour if it sticks to your finger when pressing into it.

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Roll the dough out into a log, and then cut it into three sections. Roll each section into a ball then poke your fingers in to create a small hole. Add your gel coloring a little at a time until you achieve a color you like. I chose three different shades of pink. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll the dough into approx. 1.5” balls, then press a candy melt into the center of each ball. Next roll them back up into balls (with the candy melt inside).

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink
RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Pour your various pink sprinkles into small bowls and coat each ball with a good layer, then place it back onto the baking sheet. Once all the balls are sprinkled, use the bottom of a pint glass to press the cookies down into a round disk.

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink
RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes approx. 2-dozen.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp strawberry flavor
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pink gel coloring
  • Pink sprinkles
  • White candy melts
Instructions
  1. In an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Using a separate bowl, combine the egg with the strawberry and vanilla extracts. Beat together then pour into the butter/sugar mix. Mix well.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add it, ½ cup at a time, to the mixer until fully combined. Now you should have a nice dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky, so add more flour if it sticks to your finger when pressing it.
  3. Roll the dough out into a log, and then cut it into three sections. Roll each section into a ball then poke your fingers in to create a small hole. Add your gel coloring a little at a time until you achieve a color you like. I chose three different shades of pink. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll the dough into approx. 1.5” balls, then press a candy melt into the center of each ball. Next roll them back up into balls (with the candy melt inside).
  5. Pour your various pink sprinkles into small bowls and coat each ball with a good layer, then place it back onto the baking sheet. Once all the balls are sprinkled, use the bottom of a pint glass to press the cookies down into a round disk.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes approx. 2-dozen.

 

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

These cookies are so pretty, they’d make a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day! Stack them up inside a wide mouth mason jar and decorate with a pretty ribbon and gift tag.

RECIPE: Strawberry Sprinkle Cookies #valentinesday #valentine #baking #pink

Labels and gift tags courtesy of Evermine.com.

DIY CHALLENGE: November Herbs & Spices

Need a creative boost? Join our new DIY Craft Challenge! Each month we (adventures-in-making.com) will choose a theme, and you get to run with it, then share what you make. You can stick strictly to the theme, or do something totally unexpected. Your creation is sure to inspire someone else, taking this creative community to the next level!

Check out what everyone came up with last month’s theme Fall Leaves here.

Share Your Project!

To share your project, email rachel@adventures-in-making.com with the following info:
• at least one photo of the finished piece (shots of your process are also welcome!)
• a little bit about yourself & where you’re from
• how you got from the theme to your final product
• links to your social media/blog/website (optional)

We will post our top 10 favorite submissions on the blog at the end of the month + award PRIZES!

DIY CHALLENGE: Herbs & Spices #craft #diycraftchallenge #november
(Sources left to right: 1. Christmas Pomanders by Hanna’s Charming Christmas 2. Boiled Apple Cider Syrup by Erin Boyle 3. Ginger and Coconut Oil Sugar Body Scrub by Food For My Family 4. Cinnamon & Evergreen Napkin Ties (Source Unknown) 5. DIY Rosemary Wreath by The Pretty Blog 6. Natural Room Scents by The Yummy Life 7. Painted Herb Rocks by 8. Herb Infused Vinegar by Garden Therapy 9. Homemade Pumpkin Butter by Tasty Kitchen)

NOVEMBER CHALLENGE: Herbs & Spices

November marks the beginning of the holiday season. It’s a time of delicious smells filling hour home from cookies baking in the oven, soup simmering on the stove, and your favorite fall scented candle burning on the windowsill. We’ve chosen Herbs & Spices as our November theme and we hope to inspire both cooking and crafting. You can use actual herbs & spices, or use the ‘herbs & spices’ as a theme for your project.

Any and all materials and mediums are encouraged! This challenge is open to ALL AGES, so don’t be afraid to get your kids involved too. The challenge officially begins tomorrow, November 1, 2014 and ends on November 25, 2014. We will post our top 10 favorite projects + announce the award winners on November 26th. Have fun and happy crafting!

Don’t forget to share your projects with everyone on Instagram using #diycraftchallenge.

Invite your friends!

This is the perfect opportunity to host a craft night with your friends! Take photos of everyone’s creations and send them to us! Here is a button you can display on your website/blog to let your people know what you are up to.

“Adventures

<a href=”http://www.adventures-in-making.com” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adventures-in-making.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/november-crafthchallenge.png” alt=”Adventures In Making DIY Challenge” width=”140″ height=”140″ /></a>

SHARE YOUR PROJECT ON INSTAGRAM USING #DIYCRAFTCHALLENGE

RECIPE: Eyeball Cupcakes

RECIPE: Eyeball Cupcakes #halloween #treat

‘Tis the season for all things Halloween! I look forward to Halloween every year. I love the fun costumes, scary movies, and of course, the parties. I love getting creative with my cooking this time of year too. I decided to whip up a batch of Eyeball Cupcakes to serve at my annual Halloween party.

RECIPE: Eyeball Cupcakes #halloween #treat

Eyeball Cupcakes
 
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This recipe is perfect to make with kids! Let them help you decorate each cupcake.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Halloween
Ingredients
  • • Your favorite cupcake recipe
  • • Your favorite vanilla frosting
  • • Red gel frosting
  • • Gummy lifesavers
  • • Chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Bake your favorite cupcakes! I used Betty Crocker's chocolate fudge cake mix and made both normal and mini size cupcakes. Let cool completely.
  2. Frost each cupcake with vanilla frosting. Place one gummy lifesaver at the center of each cupcake and then a chocolate chip into the center of the gummy.
  3. Use red gel frosting to draw veins around the center of the eyeball.

RECIPE: Eyeball Cupcakes #halloween #treat

RECIPE: Vegan Zucchini and Berry Crumble + Giveaway Winner!

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You probably won’t believe me when I say that a zucchini can taste just like an apple. It’s true!

We’ve had another bumper crop of squash this year, and we’ve had to get clever with recipes. When this happened last year I had the mad idea of cooking a zucchini like an apple, and sure enough, I’m not the first one to do so. I added it to my “Revenge Blackberry Crumble” recipe and I haven’t gone back. (I’ve included some handy tricks at the bottom of the recipe.)

Vegan Zucchini & Berry Crumble
 
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This delicious crumble is a quick, easy and sweet way to use those extra zucchini and berries. Plus it's vegan!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of zucchini, deseeded, skinned & sliced into small pieces (Instructions included)
  • ½ cup of lemon juice
  • 4 cups of blackberries (or berry of choice)
  • 1 cup of granulated raw cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons of orange zest
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cup granola
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup cold margerine, cut onto small pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Peel zucchini, cut open long-wise and scoop out seeds. Slice zucchini in small, apple slice sized pieces.
  3. Place zucchini slices in a large mixing bowl and cover with lemon juice.
  4. Add the berries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, zest, and juice to the zucchini mixture, and mix well with a large spoon.
  5. Pour into a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish.
  6. In another mixing bowl, combine next 6 ingredients with hands until crumbly.
  7. Place granola mixture on top of fruit, making a thin layer across the whole pan.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the mixture begins to bubble up around the crust.
  9. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Great with any version of ice cream.

Prep Tips

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The slight bitterness of a zucchini seems to come from the seeds and peel. You can use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to take care of the outside, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the center. Then you have a blank slate to cook with.

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I am a sucker for orange zest. I found that I often had every ingredient I needed EXCEPT an orange for zesting. Now I zest any orange that comes through the door, fold the zest lightly in foil or plastic wrap and freeze until I have a recipe that needs it.

Similarly, you can freeze blackberries when you have too many. Lay them out on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When they are completely frozen (after a day or so) dump them into a ziplock or container and freeze until you’re ready to use them.

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It’s often just as easy to make something vegan, and why not when you will be sharing it with others? You can substitute butter if you’d prefer.

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Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

THE GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the September giveaway. We loved hearing about your recent adventures

Now without further ado, the winner is…. ALAINE!! Congrats Alaine!

RECIPE: Mini Apple Cupcakes

RECIPE: Mini Apple Cupcakes #backtoschool #dessert

Mini cupcakes are one of my favorite treats to make. I love their bite size and the adorable ways you can decorate them. To celebrate the coming of fall and the back-to-school season I whipped up these fun apple cupcakes using apples from my grandmother’s farm.

 

Mini Apple Cupcakes
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups coarsely shredded apples
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two mini cupcake pans with paper liners (I’d also recommend making some regular size cupcakes as well, otherwise you will have millions of minis!).
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Using am electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low; mix in apples. Then slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined.
  4. Fill lined cupcakes halfway with batter; bake until tops are springy to the touch (12-15 minutes for mini cupcakes, 18-20 minutes for regular cupcakes). Remove from pans and let cool completely.

RECIPE: Mini Apple Cupcakes #backtoschool #dessert
Cream Cheese Frosting & Decoration
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Red gel food coloring
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Lime fruit slice candy
Instructions
  1. Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle until smooth; scrape down sides of bowl. Add butter; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually mix in confectioners' sugar; add vanilla. Mix until smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Slowly mix in red gel food coloring until you achieve your desired red color. Frost cupcakes.
  3. Use a knife to cut the lime candies into small leaf shapes. Break the pretzel sticks in half and press one stick into the center of each frosted cupcake to make an apple stem. Garnish with a lime candy leaf.

RECIPE: Mini Apple Cupcakes #backtoschool #dessert

For a fun gift packaging idea, I use custom labels, tags and flower clasp boxes courtesy of Evermine.com (plus the Doodle style shown was designed by your’s truly (Rachel!)).

RECIPE: Mini Apple Cupcakes #backtoschool #dessert

Custom labels, tags and flower clasp boxes courtesy of Evermine.com