Dandelion Cookies & Scones

Hello!

May has been incredibly busy, as I am trying to put in my first vegetable garden, work on my kitchen remodel, go to work (SIX WEEKS UNTIL SUMMER BREAK!), and worry about my new kitty who gets into everything, including cupboards and drawers.

One thing that has gotten neglected is the whole cutting-the-grass things...which gave the gobs of dandelions plenty of time to flower!

I was picking dandelion leaves to go in my salads all spring, and one warm day when I got home to work, I saw a sea of yellow flowers. My yard backs up to an empty field, so most of my neighbors have sort of given up the weed battle - although a few spend hours working on their carpet-like manicured lawns.

Personally, I think manicured lawns are boring. They’re pretty enough, I guess, with the lush green grass...but do you know what I think is prettier? A field full of wildflowers. EDIBLE wildflowers, like dandelion, clover, and violets.

I probably don’t belong in the suburbs.

But for now I’ll just sort of keep my front lawn OK-ish, and not worry about the back. Yay for privacy fences!

Anyway, the dandelions.

I’ve been eating dandelion leaves ever since I was a kid, and my grandpa used to brew dandelion wine from the flowers. I’ve read things online about other uses for the flowers and/or roots though, so this year I wanted to try something different. I came across a recipe for dandelion blossom cookies, and I got interested.

Then, because I suck at following directions, I made a bunch of edits to the recipe, and ended up making two small batches of dandelion baked goods.

As a note, each recipe has a yield of 1 dozen cookies/scones. Technically, I got 11 for each recipe, because my boyfriend and I ate at least one cookie-worth of dough before baking. I’d recommend sticking to the small batch the first time in order to try these - they are a bit different from a normal baked good - and doubling in the future if you want to make more.


Recipe 1 - Dandelion Scones
¼ c. whole wheat flour (I had red wheat on hand)
¼ c. all purpose flour (organic if you have it)
½ c. oats
¼ c. dandelion blossoms (see harvest directions further down)
¼ tsp salt

Mix dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream:
¼ c. unsalted butter, softened
¼ c. honey (local if you have it - this is a great time to work on fixing those spring allergies!)

Add:
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla.

Add the dry to the wet, and mix gently. Do not overmix.

Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until done (I use my oven light to figure out when cookies are done and I am paranoid about checking them constantly, but you do you - it took my oven 20 minutes).

These are not overly sweet, but they have a rich flavor. I really like them, but I think of them as more of a snack or breakfast thing than a dessert thing. If you are looking for a dessert, you could try adding more honey, but personally I like them as is!

Recipe 2: Dandelion Peanut Butter Cookies
¼ c. whole wheat flour
⅜ c. all purposeflour
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ c. dandelion blossoms
¼ tsp salt

Mix together and set dry ingredients aside.

Cream:
¼ c. butter
¼ c. honey
¼ c. peanut butter**

Add:
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla

Add the dry to the wet and mix gently.

Spoon onto cookie sheet at bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until done.

*Peanut butter: I used fresh milled dry roasted peanuts because I’m lucky enough to have a grocery store where you can grind peanuts into peanut butter. I’m sure natural peanut butters without additives would work well, though you mean need to adjust the salt content if your peanut butter is salted. I’m not sure how regular peanut butter, such as Jif brand, would work but I imagine it would make the cookies sweeter and possibly change the texture.

The peanut butter cookies were more cookie-like than the oatmeal ones, and they were sweeter. They puffed up and were a bit chewy on the inside, with a delightful peanut taste.

Both cookie types are certainly different. I wouldn’t view them as a replacement for, say chocolate chip cookies. But they are something cool to do in the spring/early summer and they go great with tea or coffee!

Plus, they are supppeerrr healthy with all sorts of vitamins and stuff from the dandelions and honey!

A Note on Harvesting:
Cut the dandelion blossoms from the stem. I just went around my yard with scissors - it took maybe 10 minutes. Look for the biggest blossoms.

Take the head, and pinch the green part with your fingers. Then, carefully use your other hand to pull the yellow petals away from the green base and sepals (sepals are feathery looking things that hold the flower petals in).

Compost your greens parts and any extra flowers that you picked (I way overpicked…). Or, be lazy like me and just toss them in the grass.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you have ¼ c of YELLOW PETALs and NOT GREEN ANYTHING. The stems and sepals of the dandelions are bitter. Don’t make bitter baked goods.

The harvesting is sort of tedious but it doesn’t take very long - or very many flowers - to get ¼ c. of petals (or even ½ c. of petals in my case). I just stood out at my table in the early morning sunshine and spent maybe 15 minutes de-petalling dandelion heads in between helping my boyfriend cut boards for a garden planter he is building. It got faster as I got better at it too. This would also be a GREAT task to assign to kids.


Quick Safety Note
Please make sure that you DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES eat dandelions that have been sprayed with herbicides! I only pick them from my yard, yards of people who I know don't use chemicals, and wild areas. For safety, you should avoid roadsides unless you can verify that chemicals are not used.

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