Hey FA Readers! Are you looking for an unusual and delicious treat for Mother’s Day? Make your Mom a batch of dandelion shortbread cookies! We are pleased to bring you this Dandelion Shortbread Cookie Recipe — the latest in a series from our grand-prize-winning baker, Cameron Livesay. Cameron wowed FA judges in a blind taste test with his honey churro cookies and absolutely bowled us over with his kind heart once we got to know him! You’ve got to try his creative concoction and read his sweet story:
Shortbread Cookies – Dandelion Style!
I love all the colors that nature brings. The purples of creeping Charlie and wild violets, yellows of buttercups and oxalis, and white clover are all welcome at our house. We even celebrate the dandelions that pop up everywhere in the spring.
Dandelions can be used to make tea, wine, soap, jelly, pesto and much more. They are also food for many different animals and insects. People have been using dandelions for food and medicine for centuries. At our house, we use every part of the Dandelion. We fry the flower blossoms to make a tasty appetizer, and mix the greens in a salad with a fresh lemon vinaigrette. We also dry the flowers to make tea and — best of all — we make Dandelion Cookies! The cookies are shortbread sweetened with local honey and lots of dandelion petals mixed in.
Please note: Be sure to pick dandelion blossoms from an area that is free of pesticides. The best time to pick them is a sunny late morning the day after a good rain when the blossoms are fully open. (Learn how dandelions tell about the weather.) Then invite your friends over. This is a great opportunity to gather around the table to pick the petals. The green dandelion parts are a little bitter, so you’ll need to carefully separate them for the cookies. You can top the cookies with sugared dandelion blossoms to make them extra special.
A.A. Milne said, “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” I hope you’ll try the Dandelion Cookie recipe and see the sweet side of Dandelions!
Dandelion Shortbread Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 2 tbl honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg and one additional egg yolk
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup dandelion petals
- Optional: Dandelion whole flowers and 1⁄4 caster (superfine) sugar
1. Rinse dandelion petals and dry on paper towels.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Mix in eggs, salt, vanilla, and honey.
3. Gradually add the flour. Mix until dough is formed.
4. Fold in dandelion petals and roll the dough into a log.
5. Cover and chill for one hour. Slice the dough log into cookie rounds (1/4″ thick).
Optional: toss some of your dandelion petals in caster sugar and press into cookies before baking.
5. Bake on a lined baking sheet at 350°F for 12 minutes.
6. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
My Family And “Sweets For The Soul” Project
My dandelion shortbread cookies are inspired by my great grandparents. There are a lot of recipes for dandelion cookies out there, but this one is made with shortbread, from my family’s Scottish heritage.
My great grandparents were kids during the Great Depression and passed down their appreciation for food and nature. My great grandfather was one of nine children growing up on a South Georgia farm. Learning about him and his childhood motivated me to learn more about growing food, tapping trees, and raising chickens. My great grandmother was a big part of her community volunteering through her church and through the Civic Woman’s Club. My mom has always been active in our community too. I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps.
I started the Sweets for the Soul Project during the pandemic after seeing a post on social media asking people to adopt a nursing home resident for the holidays. I contacted the nursing home and said I would bake something special since visitors were not allowed at the time. Every special day since the Christmas of 2020, I have made treats for the residents of the nursing home. Once visitors were allowed again, I offered cookie decorating classes and other activities. The residents and staff have become part of my extended family.
The Sweets for the Soul Project has grown into cooking and decorating classes for kids, teaching preschool classes about raising chickens, and a cooking demonstration and history lesson on the Smith Island Cake. After winning the Farmers’ Almanac Honey Recipe Contest, a college asked me to donate one of my classes to their silent auction at the Christmas Gala. The auction raises money for their scholarship fund. My mom made an anonymous bid just in case no one else did. We were surprised to see a bidding war for a class with me! My business, Soul Man Sweets, started as a homeschool project selling my baked good and has given me so many opportunities to meet new people and help my community in ways that I never thought possible.
I hope to encourage more kids to learn about cooking, homesteading, and philanthropy. I just kicked off a series on social media about edible flowers. There are tips on using them as decorations, how they taste and how to use them safely. Dandelion cookies are a great start since they can be found everywhere!
Join The Conversation!
Will you make this shortbread cookie recipe with dandelions for a gift this year?
Did you try Cameron’s winning honey churro cookie recipe in FA 2023?
Show support for Cameron in the comments below!
Cameron Livesay is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2022 Farmers' Almanac Recipe Contest. He is a talented baker and young entrepreneur who started his own business at ten years old. Cameron frequently gives back to his local community of Sykesville, Maryland, and inspires bakers everywhere. Learn more and support his creativity at SoulmanSweets.com.