Edible Flower Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Gluten-Free Pistachio Shortbread Cookie Recipe & How to add Flower Petals to Cookies

Edible Flower Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

These beautiful gluten-free Edible Flower Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are sure to wow your guests when they see them, and again when they taste them!

– Updated May 2021 –

As most of you know, I’m a California-grown farm girl, proudly wearing boots in the field on my family’s ranches in the center on the Golden State. So, y’all can imagine how excited I was when the folks from CA Grown asked me to create an ecookbook full of simple, seasonal recipes highlighting all the goodness raised here. Of course I included gluten-free versions of every dish. You can download it (Free!) right here.  These pretty cookies are featured in the cookbook, and they’ve become one of my favorite recipes.

California is America’s leading producer of high-quality cut flowers and greens – growing over 75% of all domestic cut flowers in the United States. That includes culinary grade flowers, so when you see an orchid on your dessert or a snapdragon in your salad, there’s a good chance it’s California Grown. It also means that if you’d like to support local farmers, asking for American-grown blooms and greens is a great place to start.

gluten -free edible flower cookies recipe

Now, about those cookies.

Inspired by Chef Lori Stern’s Instagram-sensation edible flower cookies, these buttery-crisp shortbreads feature pretty green flecks and fabulous crunch courtesy of pistachios.

Many varieties of flowers are edible, but you’ll want to be certain the ones you’re using are culinary-grade. That means they’ve been grown and packed in conditions that are food-safe. You can order edible flowers online, or from some florists or grocery stores. Farmer’s markets are also a great source for edible blooms. When I can’t find edible flowers locally, I order mine here.

Choosing Edible Flowers:

You can use any edible flowers you like. Pansies, violas, nasturtium, dianthus, and borage blossoms all work well. I also use parsley leaves and mint leaves often. Remember that the flowers or herbs may add flavor to the cookies, so you want ones that taste as good as they look. Fresh basil is pretty, but it doesn’t bake well and the flavor isn’t great with the sugar topping on the cookies. Rose petals can overpower the light flavor of the cookies, so I choose other blooms.

This recipe makes 24-30 cookies, depending on the size you cut them and thickness of the dough. Chopping the nuts finely makes for more usable dough. When you make you first batch (or your twelfth) – please share them with me @gfreefoodie on Instagram. Happy baking!

flower shortbread cookies
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten-Free Edible Flower Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

These buttery-crisp shortbreads feature pretty green flecks and fabulous crunch courtesy of California-grown pistachios and gorgeous edible blooms.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
chill time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 66kcal
Author: K.C. Cornwell

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, mix with a spoon until combined. Scatter the pistachio pieces over the dough and knead with hands until the dough comes together and is smooth. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 10 minutes.
  • *(This dough is a bit coarse/crumbly, and will need to be kneaded together and formed by hand. If the dough if too crumbly to form into a disc for chilling, you can add up to 1 TBSP water, a but at a time, to get it to bind. If your pistachios aren;t chopped finely as noted, that could also be a problem.)
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut out cookies with a 1 1/2 inch round cutter, and place them on the lined baking sheet. Artfully place the flowers or individual petals on the cookies and press gently into the dough.
  • Bake on the center rack of the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the edges turn slightly golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle immediately with sugar, then allow to cool.

Notes

Note: Cookies may be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 days. If your gluten-free flour blend doesn’t contain baking binder, add 1 tsp to the flour before mixing.
Makes about 24-30 cookies, depending on size.

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Sponsored by California Grown. All opinions are my own. But you knew that.

Edible Flower Pistachio Shortbread Cookies photography by: James Collier

Honestly, how could a plateful of these not make your guests feel special?

flower shortbread cookies

Frequently asked questions about Edible Flower Cookies:

What flowers can you bake with?

Pansies, violas, nasturtium, dianthus, and borage blossoms can all be used in baking, and work well on these cookies. Roses are also great for baking, as long as you enjoy the (sometimes strong) rose flavor. Herbs like mint and parsley also do well in baked goods, and blend well with the flavors of edible flowers.

Can edible flowers be baked?

Yes! When topping cookies or crackers, you want to use a cookie recipe that bakes at a lower temperature and for no more than 15 minutes so the flowers don’t burn. Edible flowers can be blended into doughs and batters as well. Flowers are also great in frsitings or ice cream.

Where can I find edible flowers?

Edible flowers can be ordered online, or from some florists or grocery stores. Farmer’s markets are also a great source for edible blooms. When I can’t find them locally, I order edible flowers online here.

What cookie recipe is best for flower cookies?

A shortbread or similar crisp cookie dough that bakes quickly is best for topping with edible flowers.

Do I need to press the edible flowers before baking them?

No, you don’t need to press the flowers before baking. The petals should stick to the cookie dough pretty well, and anything sticking up adds a lovely texture to the cookies.

Do you have to dry edible flowers before baking?

No. Most edible flowers can be baked fresh. Drying in advance actually increases the chances of the petals burning.

Which gluten-free flour blend is best for making shortbread?

Both Pamela’s Gluten-Free Artisan Blend or King Arthur Measure for Measure blend make great gluten-free shortbread.

11 thoughts on “Edible Flower Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

  1. How much Butter? The recipe says “ 1/4 pound 1/2 cup butter” should that be1/4 lb “or” 1/2 cup?

    1. if your butter comes in “sticks” 4 sticks to a pound, one stick is a 1/4 lb and it’s also 1/2 cup (for those whose butter isn’t divided)

  2. Thank you for the recipe. I too am confused about the amount of butter needed. Would you clarify the amount for us? Thank you!

  3. I couldn’t roll the biscuit dough. It was very crumbly even though I added more butter. I had to roll into balls and flatten out.

      1. Because this is shortbread, the dough is a bit coarse and needs to be compacted by hand. See notes about adding water if necessary, and make certain your flour blend has a baking binder, and that the nuts are finely chopped.

    1. The dough is a bit coarse and needs to be compacted by hand. See notes about adding water if necessary, and make certain your flour blend has a baking binder, and that the nuts are finely chopped.

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