just a smidgen

Cardamom Orange Zest Pansy Cookies

Deja-vu.. you may have seen these Pansy Cookies already.

{ Well, that name was a mouthful wasn’t it? Well, so are these cookies, so there! }

pansy cookies

When I agreed to do a guest post.. I suddenly realized that the recipe wouldn’t be on my blog! One of the primary reasons I began writing this blog was to have a virtual place to stash all of my favorite recipes.

So I’m reposting today..

Have a wonderful weekend!! xx

Often my inspiration for baking, cooking and art work comes from the natural world, particularly my own garden.

Today I’ve included a poem about Summer, but it also a metaphor for life.. it’s about leaving youth behind, rejoicing in the lusciousness of the present moment, and feeling a sense of grace for what the future holds.

pansy cookies

pansy cookies

The Pansy is one of my favorite flowers, it’s a harbinger of spring and brings with it a temporary beauty, for they usually don’t grow much past August. I eagerly planted several pots one year and was dismayed to have empty containers later on! Most of my gardening, like my cooking, baking, and art is all experimental and sometimes I learn the hard way:)

pansy cookies


I love these cookies, their cardamom and orange zested fragrance are a delight on their own. I saw sugar cookie topped Pansy Cookies on StoneGable and wanted to give the pansy application a try. I think they would be beautiful for a baby or bridal shower.

pansy cookies

I really wanted to share something beautiful with you today, I’m having such a lovely day!

There is a gentle breeze here at the lake that is dispelling some of the oppressive heat we’ve been having. I had a morning’s wander around Kelowna and just had a quiet Paddle Board around the lake with my friend Patty.

The flower application looked fairly straightforward, a mixture of meringue (egg white) powder is mixed with water and spread over the cookie.

pansy cookiesThen the flower is gently pressed in, more meringue brushed gently over top and a sprinkling of sugar to finish. I quickly learned that it is easier to remove the thick end bit of the stem and press the flowers in place. Sometimes I had to brush each petal individually.

pansy cookies
They flowers do lift and curl a bit, but as long as you have enough meringue wash over top they shouldn’t dry out.

pansy cookies

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 very long.

I left my first batch of pretty Cardamom Orange Zest Pansy Sugar Cookies for 5 minutes in a hot oven and the flowers looked parched!

pansy cookiesSo this technique for these pansy cookies only requires a bit of a gentle, finicky touch and a careful eye, and you, too, can have some pretty Pansy Cookies of your own!

If you have a favorite sugar cookie recipe, you can use that, as long as the cookies are fairly sturdy and would withstand a bit of handling.

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 Pansy Cookies
Cook time
Total time
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened (1/2 pound)
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup (light)
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (slice lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, discard the outer pod)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
Pansy Topping
  • 1 tbsp dried meringue powder (egg white powder)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Small paintbrush
  • Edible Pansies
  • Sugar
  • Optional: Coarse Sprinkling Sugar
  1. Cookies
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 2 1/2” 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Pansy Topping
  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 off 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.

Love, Smidge 5

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