The end of June is a bittersweet time in Fairbanks. While we're basking it the midnight sun, we've already crested the solstice and have begun losing a bit of daylight each day. It's currently only a loss of a few seconds to a minute or two a day, but the downward slope has begun and before we know it, it will be September already and we'll be losing 7 minutes a day as we plunge into winter and darkness.
But today is June 25th with 21:43 hours of daylight, and it's still weeks until we'll have to turn our car headlights on, and we don't have to bother to bring our headlamps when we go out camping.
So I decided to make some solstice cookies to capture the sunlight in edible form... It's a GF sugar cookie with Key lime frosting and topped with a candied wild rose petal.
The wild roses seemed especially abundant this year.
The wild rose, Rosa acicularis, blooms begin to appear in the end of May and start to become scarce towards the end of June (though I do sometimes find an out-of-sync blooming roses as late as August). So there's a short window when you can make candied rose petals.
I head out to the woods around my cabin and harvest a bowl full of petals.
To make candied rose petals, you can use egg white, but I prefer to use meringue powder instead. While I've eaten enough cookie dough in my life that I must be immune to salmonella, I don't assume that everyone else has the same comfort level with raw eggs. Meringue powder is found in the cake decorating sections of stores like Michael's and Jo-Ann Fabrics.
Candied Rose Petals
wild rose petals
mortar and pestle
Begin by rinsing your rose petals and blotting them dry.
Mix about 1 Tbsp of meringue powder with some water to make a mixture probably about the consistency of re-hydrated powdered milk. Then use the mortar and pestle to grind the sugar into a finer powder.
Dip a rose petal into the meringue powder solution, allow excess liquid to drip of the petal, and then place in the sugar.
Make sure to coat both sides otherwise the areas not coated in sugar will turn brown if the candied petals aren't used immediately.
Let the petal dry; it's helpful to let them dry on wax or parchment paper in case you need to peel them off after they're dried.
Store the petals in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper and they should last a few weeks.
GF Sugar cookie
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 1/4 cups gluten free flour (I used half pre-mixed flour and half white rice flour)
Mix the butter with the sugar; add in the two egg yolks, salt, vanilla extract, and xanthan gum.
Mix in the flour.
Refrigerate the dough for an hour before rolling it out.
Roll the dough out to 1/4 of an inch thick and use cookie cutters to form cookies.
Bake at 350 degrees F for ~9 minutes (until the edges turn brown) and then allow to cool completely.
Key lime frosting
~1.5 to 2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp butter
~1 Tbsp Key lime juice
Frosting has never been an exact recipe for me-- I usually just mix a bit of butter, powdered sugar and some sort of liquid flavoring-- adding in a little more of whatever is needed to balance out the frosting for consistency, texture, and flavor.
I start with blending soft butter with powdered sugar.
Then slowly mix in Key Lime juice, stirring to get smooth texture (if it begins to get too acidic, substitute a bit of water instead of lime juice).
Finally, frost the cookies once they are cool.
and add a candied rose petal on top of each cookie.