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Vanilla Bean Cookies with Pressed Flowers

Pressed flowers

  • fresh edible flowers
  • wax or parchment paper

Vanilla shortbread cookies

  • 9 ounces unsalted butter very soft
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 3 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

Sugar-salt topping

  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt, such as Maldon flakes

For the pressed flowers:

1. Gather as many edible flowers as you like (you really only need about a good handful to make these cookies).

2. Place flowers in a single layer between two pieces of parchment or wax paper. Place in between the middle pages of the heaviest book you can find.

3. Check flowers every day. They should be ready in 1-3 days, depending on the size and type of flower you're using. You want them to be pressed and mostly dry. For the purposes of this recipe, they don't need to be completely dry.

For the shortbread cookies:

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until whipped, light, and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.

2. Add the salt and vanilla; stir to incorporate.

3. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar; mix until combined.

4. Sift together the flour and cornstarch. Add flour mix to butter mixture; stir just until combined.

5. Roll dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to about 1/4" inch. Do NOT add flour - it will change the final texture of your cookies.

6. Chill dough until firm, about 20 minutes. Cut out desired shapes. Re-roll any leftover dough scraps to cut more cookies as needed.

7. Place pressed flowers onto individual cookies in any way you fancy. It may help to use water or egg white to brush over flowers to help "glue" the flowers on. Or, you may find you can simply press them lightly to adhere them to the cookies.

8. Chill cut cookies again until firm, at least 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 F while chilling.

9. Bake until cookies are firm but not yet browning, about 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before applying topping.

For sugar-salt topping:

Combine vanilla sugar and coarse sea salt. Sprinkle onto slightly cooled cookies.

Cookies can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for about one week.

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