Tuesday 25 February 2014

Sweet Wild Violet Cookies

Foraged Wild Violet Biscuit Cookies

I love a bit of foraging for wild food, but at this time of the year, pickings are slim.  It's very nearly time for the Wild Garlic to come out in our wood, but for now I'm contenting myself with beautiful and edible wild violets.  They began to bloom very early this year - I spotted some at New Year, and if you look under hedges and in open areas of woodland, you should be able to spot some. There may even be some growing in your lawn.

It's a beautiful spring flower, powerfully scented and associated with romance and love and they were favoured by the Victorians, often given to sweethearts in little posies.

These biscuits have a delicate floral flavour - don't worry they don't smell of old ladies!

First, you will need to make some violet infused sugar.  I like to use this not only in the cookie dough, but also for the candied flowers which adorn the top so I pick in two batches, getting fresh ones for the candied petals, given that they don't last too long once picked.

You can use any basic biscuit recipe, and roll them out and make pretty shapes with cutters, or go for the more rustic approach as I've done here.

Remember to thoroughly wash and dry your flower stems before making your flavoured sugar.

To make the infused sugar:

  • 4 oz white caster sugar
  • Approx 10-15 flower heads
  • Airtight jar or pot
Remove the green parts and stems from your clean flowers.

Layer in an airtight container with the sugar ensuring all the petals are covered.

Leave for approximately 3-4 days.

To make the cookies:
  • 2 oz violet sugar
  • 4 oz soft butter
  • 6 oz plain white flour
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.

Sieve your petals out of the sugar, but reserve them for making your icing colouring.

Add all your ingredients in a bowl and mix (I use an electric whisk). You'll end up with a crumbly mixture a bit like crumble topping.

With your hands, scoop out a small amount and work into a ball, squeezing and firming - you want balls about the size of ping pong balls.

Lay on a baking sheet covered with non-stick paper and gently flatten out with your palm. This recipe makes approximately 12 cookies.

Bake for around 25 minutes until golden brown and allow to cool on a wire rack.

To make the crystallised flowers:

  • 2 oz violet sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • violet flowers on stems (enough for each cookie)

Keep back a couple of tablespoons of sugar for dusting your flowers, but put the rest in a pan along with the water and heat until the sugar dissolves and makes a syrup.

Holding the stem, dip each flower into the syrup and then spoon flavoured sugar over.

Leave to set firm on some greaseproof paper.

When dry, cut off the stems using scissors.

To make the icing:
  • Violet petals
  • Icing sugar
  • A little boiling water
Last summer I discovered I could make coloured liquid from flower petals, and we used this as watercolour paints.  It worked with pansies, so I guessed it would work with violets too, being the same family.

Natural Violet Flower Food Colouring

Use your reserved petals from the flavoured sugar making, and in a glass add a teaspoon or two of boiling water. Leave for 20-30 minutes until the colour has leeched from the petals.

Now use this coloured water to make up your icing in the normal way.

Natural Violet Flower Food Colouring Cake Decorating

Decorate your cookies with the icing and candied flowers.  Of course, you could use the flavoured sugar, coloured icing and candied flowers just as well in a delicate sponge cake instead of biscuits if you prefer.

Foraged Sweet Violet Biscuits

These cookies were shared as part of a Spring Crafts Google Hangout.  You can see the video below and check the links for more lovely spring crafts:

Red Ted Art: Five little ducks pebbles; Seed bombs; Egg Cress Heads, Plant Markers; Loo Roll Sheep

Kids Chaos: Daffodil Cookie Pops; Painted Pebbles, Newspaper Roses

Zing Zing Tree: Pipecleaner Daffodils and Flower Box; Pipe Cleaner Snowdrops; Paper Bottle Top Flowers; Paper Cone Squirrel

Domestic Goddesque: Tissue Paper Butterfly mosaic; Pinwheel Flower Decoration; Cork Ladybird Fridge Magnet

Me: Egg Carton Daffodils; Plantable seed shapes; April Showers Necklace / Sun Catcher; Egg Seed Bombs.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Homemade Thursday


  1. these flowers are beautiful and look so tasty .. never thought i would say that about a flower!

  2. You are amazing, they look so delicate and I bet they taste delicious. The pigment from the flowers is stunning, it is amazing what nature can give us and most of us have no idea how to use it. I love that you have the skills to use a beautiful flower to create something else wonderful x

    1. Ahh thank you for your lovely comment. I love that this is all natural, no added nasties at all x

  3. Oh wow, these are so beautiful!! I don't eat flower but they would make the much gorgeous gift xx

    1. They'd be nice boxed up for Easter or Mother's Day I think don't you?

  4. I know I always say this but.... FEEEED ME! These look pretty and yummy - double win!

  5. They look too pretty to eat. Well, not straight away. Your violets are ahead of ours. Been keeping an eye on a regular patch and no flowers yet. Must go and check.

    1. Oh really? We've had such a mild winter here ours have been out for weeks.

  6. Wow, you are so cool foraging for things to eat. I get a bit edgy just eating the walnuts off my mother's tree, never mind searching hedgerows! Beautiful!

    1. Ahh live dangerously! Actually, it's not dangerous at all, what am I talking about?!

  7. I've never been brave enough to try crystallising flowers - but maybe I'll have a go cos these look amazing!

    1. It's really easy to do. You can also do it with egg whites and sugar but I'm always a bit iffy using raw eggs with kids so I stick to sugar water.

  8. Wow, they look amazing. So pretty and fragile. I have never even considered making anything like this, but they look very elegant x

  9. Wow, this is such a brilliant idea and they look delicious!

  10. I would never even think to go foraging for flowers to eat, these do look wonderful though

  11. Oh My word, I have never tried Violets but they look very tempting xx

  12. THESE LOOK AMAZING!!!!!!! I want some.

  13. We have violets come out in January literally just around the corner from where we live.They were in abundance last year but thin on the ground this, so I didn't make the cough syrup a friend of mine makes every year.Super jealous now!

  14. Ooh yum, Liz, these look beautiful. I love violet creams, these look like a *slightly* healthier option!

  15. These are so pretty! They would look gorgeous for a birthday cake too, wouldn't they! Loving all your foraging posts :)

    Thanks for linking up to Homemade Thursday - it's always such a treat to see what you've made.

    T xxx

  16. you are amazing, please can you make me some next time we do coffee soooooon!! x

  17. Utterly delightful cakes, so pretty! Thanks so much for linking up to #tastytuesdays

  18. Meant cookies not cakes! Cake on the brain after baking yesterday! Thanks x

  19. these look yummy almost too pretty to eat! I did a chocolatier course and used violet oil in the chocolate and that was just d.i.v.i.n.e so if these taste half as good I am there! x