shortbread cookies

Shortbread Cookies with Candied Flowers and Herbs

candied flower shortbread cookie

Makes 16-18 cookies depending on size of cutters


⅓ cup rice flour
1½ teaspoon kosher salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
candied flowers and/or herbs for decorating

3 large egg whites
4 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
ColorKitchen color packets
a couple drops of glycerin or water for mixing colors


candied flower shortbread cookie

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir egg whites, powdered sugar, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl until a thick paste forms with no dry spots. Ideally, glaze should sit at least 12 hours for sugar to fully hydrate (it can be covered and chilled up to 1 week), but it can be used as soon as cookies have cooled.

Bring to room temperature before using. In separate bowls mix ColorKitchen powders with a couple drops of glycerin or water to form a smooth paste. Starting slowly add glaze to colors. Stir and continue adding glaze until you have reached the desired intensity of color. Beet red will make a pink glaze, yellow with a bit of beet red makes an orange, and the bluish-green glaze was made by mixing blue with a little yellow.

Cover your bowls of colored glaze well with plastic to avoid them drying out until you are ready to start decorating. 

Whisk rice flour, salt, and 2½ cups all-purpose flour in a medium bowl. Using a stand mixer with the paddle on medium-high, beat butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in dry ingredients on low until fully combined. Form into a flat disk and wrap in plastic and chill at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment to ⅛” thick. Using large cutter, cut out 16 rounds, re-rolling scraps. Using small cutter, punch out centers. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets until edges are golden, 12–14 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Ice your cookies using the instructions in the link below. This method is called “flooding”. While the icing is still wet add your candied flowers in any design you like. Let them dry completely before storing them in a single layer in an air-tight container.

Excellent video showing how to ice cookies.        
How to make candied flowers.

- Recipe by chef Rose Archer