Guest Post : Barbara from Just a Smidgen featuring Cardamom Orange Zest Cookies with Pansy Topping

It’s that time of the year again where we feature exceptional bloggers here at Ang Sarap, so every Fridays in the months of June, July and August you will get to know them as they will be sharing something about themselves and featuring some of their special recipes. These are exceptional bloggers so visit and follow their blogs, you would not be disappointed.

During the past days we had featured an outstanding videographer, a bunny lover, a fine bakerand a fellow Filipino and now we will be featuring an excellent poet, Barbara the blogger behind “Just a Smidgen“. If you love art, poetry, interior decoration and food then “Just a Smidgen” would be one of the best sites for you out there. She features really nice recipes from mains to sides but one thing that stands out are her cakes, cookies, breads and anything baked it’s just an eye candy not to be missed, look at these cakes like the Pas de deux blush pink ruffled rainbow layer cake, this Lemon meringue rose petal cake and this Vegan carrot cake, just the icing work on them are already a work of art. Today she will be sharing some of her baking and art expertise combined in to one so without further ado let me introduce Barbara!

Thank you, Raymund, for inviting me here today! I’m honoured to have a little spot on a blog just filled with gourmet recipes!

If you visit my site, you’ll see that “Just a Smidgen” is a bit different. I love to pair food with poetry, photography, and art. I also write about ways to bring nature into your home with interior décor. So “Just a Smidgen” is a little taste { or Smidgen } of everything that is beautiful in my life. It’s a celebration, a simple journal of gratitude that I love to share with my readers. I hope to bring a little joy to everyone’s day.

Much of my inspiration comes from the natural world, particularly my own garden and neighborhood. Today’s recipe has a poem about Summer, but it also a metaphor for life.. For the loss of youth and hopefulness for what lies ahead. The Pansy is one of my favorite flowers, it’s a harbinger of spring and brings with it a temporary beauty, for they usual don’t grow much past August. I eagerly planted several pots of these one year and was dismayed to have empty containers later on! Most of my gardening, like my cooking and baking, is experimental and sometimes I learn the hard way:)

I love these cookies, their cardamom and orange zested fragrance are a delight on their own. I have seen Pansy Cookies on the internet and wanted to give the technique a try. I really wanted to share something beautiful with you today! It looked fairly simple, a mixture of meringue (egg white) powder is mixed with water and spread over the cookie. Then the flower is gently pressed in, more meringue wash over top and a sprinkling of sugar. I quickly learned that it is easier to remove the thick end bit of the stem and press the flowers separately in place. They do lift and curl, but as long as you have enough wash over top they shouldn’t dry out. Be careful to keep an eye on them when they’re in the oven, meringue powder is safer than egg white, so it doesn’t technically have to bake long. I left my first batch in for 5 minutes in a hot oven and the flowers looked parched! So this technique only requires a bit of a gentle, finicky touch and a careful eye, and you will have some pretty Pansy Cookies of your own!

Note: My edible flowers were purchased at Community Natural Foods, but by now you may have your own garden pansies.. As long as you haven’t been using any pesticides, of course!

Cardamom Orange Zest Cookies with Pansy Topping
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened (1/2 pound)
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup agave syrup (light)
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ vanilla bean (slice lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, discard the outer pod)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
Instructions
  1. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the agave syrup and continue to mix until combined. Add the zest, vanilla extract and vanilla beans and mix on a low speed until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low until blended.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cardamom. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients gradually to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  3. Divide the dough into 3 parts, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This makes the dough easier to roll out.
  4. Once chilled, remove the dough and let it warm at room temperature, just long enough so that it can be rolled out on a lightly floured surface. Roll to the desired thickness of cookie, 3/16” will make a thicker, “sturdier” cookie. Cut dough with a 2½” to 3” round cookie cutter. Place on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat liner or parchment paper. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes to firm up the dough again. *Do not skip this step, it helps the cookies to hold their shape when baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. You may wish to rotate your cookie sheets half way through baking so all sides are evenly browned.
  6. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Pansy Cookie 3

 

Pansy Topping
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp dried meringue powder (egg white powder)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Small paintbrush
  • Edible Pansies
  • Sugar
  • Optional: Coarse Sprinkling Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Blend together the powder and water to make an egg wash. Brush the entire cookie top with the egg wash. Snip of the firm stem end of the cookie. Press the remaining petals of the flower onto the cookie, centering it. Brush more egg wash over top and press, gently smoothing the petals with your fingertips. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Add a pinch of coarse Sprinkling Sugar if desired.
  3. Bake for 1-3 minutes, watching carefully that the flowers do not over bake or dry out. Remove and smooth out any petals that have lifted, place on a wire rack and let cool completely.
  4. Store in a single row in an air tight container.

 

No Responses

  1. Smidge, you never cease to amaze me! These are the most beautiful cookies!
    Have a beautiful weekend.
    :-) Mandy xo

  2. Vinny Grette says:

    I don’t usually “like” things made with sugar… but this just looks too beautiful to pass by! Lovely.

  3. Karista says:

    I agree with Mandy Smidge, these are beautiful cookies with one of my fave ingredients, cardamom! What a lovely dessert or nibble for summer parties or brunches. Hugs to ya!

  4. Michelle says:

    Oh, Smidge, those are just gorgeous!

  5. Brittany says:

    The flowers really add to the gorgeous factor of these cookies!! They sound amazing! Well done!

  6. These are gorgeous, especially with the big sugar crystals!

  7. Beautiful poetry and gorgeous cookies to match. Thanks for brightening my day! Raymond and Barbara wishing you a lovely weekend. Take Care, BAM

  8. Norma Chang says:

    Agree with Mandy and the other commenters, these are the most beautiful cookies.

  9. viveka says:

    Barbara’s world … is just what we all need … so delicate and beautiful in every post. Doesn’t matter if it’s a post about couscous or like cookies here. Every detail in her world has so much thoughts behind them.

  10. I don’t think I need to eat pansies, but I am definitely interested in cookies with orange zest and cardamom — yum!

  11. Such pretty cookies!

  12. Carolyn Chan says:

    Ray, I’m almost relieved that you have guest posts – I totally respect the commitment that it takes for you to post pretty much daily and I am astounded that its different dishes each time ! I’ve been absent from blogging for a few weeks – and it’s great to come back to two of my favourite bloggers collaborating.
    Smidge – lovelovelove these cookies ! And you don’t need me to tell you on Ray’s site how much I love yours :)

  13. Pretty and delicious!!

  14. Great looking cookies! I do almost nothing with edible flowers, and need to – they look so great. Wonderful guest post – thanks so much.

  15. mjskit says:

    I love Barbara and her blog! So glad to see her here. Those cookies are amazing! Sugar (agave) cookies with cardamom – YUM! – and only B would put edible flowers on top. :) Just lovely!

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    I knew it! Your cookies and post are wonderful, Barb. Yours was the perfect guest post. Raymund chose well.

  17. So stunning Barbara! I love how delicate and sweet they look!

  18. I am so new to guest posting.. but I saw on another blog that I should be responding here.. So first, thank you Raymund for inviting me here. Honestly, you really have the most creative recipes I’ve ever seen and I still just don’t know how you find the time to blog every day!! Amazing! Everyone else.. thank you so much for your kind words.. you’re the bloggers I admire so much for your own cooking/baking talent.. so your compliments mean that much more to me:) Have an awesome week! xx

  19. Gorgeous! Smidge has such a wonderful & unique style- I always look forward to seeing what she’s up to next. Thanks for sharing this lovely post. I know I’ll be making these cookies!!!

  20. Reblogged this on Unicorns Have Fists and commented:
    PREEEEEETTY FOOOOOOD

  21. Shirley says:

    So beautiful! I’ll have to try making sugared flowers for my desserts sometime.

  1. July 13, 2013

    […] I’m posting today over on Raymund’s blog.. Ang Sarap! […]

Leave a Reply, your comments are my inspiration

%d bloggers like this: