Dandelion Shortbread

Spring is on the horizon, and you know what that means…dandelion shortbread! Yes, those cheerful little “weeds” popping up can be the secret ingredient to a delightful and unique dessert: dandelion shortbread. Imagine buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread infused with subtle sweetness and a bit of bitter tart of dandelion greens. It’s a taste of sunshine captured in a cookie, perfect for picnics in the park or afternoon tea parties.

Dandelions are known for their bitterness. I regularly enjoy dandelion lattes and add the bitter roots into my healing herbal broth, so I went ahead and added the greens to our shortbread. You can use just the petals if you choose!

The Magic of Dandelions

Dandelions, often seen as pesky intruders, are edible treasures. Their young leaves and flowers contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In this recipe, we’ll use bright yellow petals and greens, adding a delicate floral flavor and a beautiful pop of color to the shortbread. I was worried they would be bitter. But it’s balanced. I quite enjoyed these dandelion shortbread biscuits dipped in my dandelion tea!

wicker basket filled with dandelion flowers in a grassy field

The benefits of dandelions:

From their root to their flower, dandelions are considered to be a highly nutritious plant. Dandelions can be eaten raw or cooked (or consumed in delicious lemonade!) and are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. They also contain vitamin E, folate and small amounts of other B vitamins. And dandelion greens contain several minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Dandelions are often thought to improve skin health and provide relief for cramps and aches. Adding some of this goodness into cookies seems like a win to me!

vintage botanical print of dandelion

Harvesting your dandelions:

Dandelions are easily identifiable and abundant. They’re notoriously easy to harvest and simple to clean and use. The entire plant is edible, from flowers and leaves to roots. I like the harvest my dandelions from my own garden.  We’re lucky to have a garden where they grow abundantly, without fertilizer, however we also don’t have pets. Make sure you’ve located a safe space that’s free of fertilizer, and that is not visited by dogs. To harvest the entire plant from the root, use a weeding fork. I have and can recommend this one. Angel the fork about an inch into the soil to loosen the root, and then carefully pull the entire plant from the ground. Shake free from dirt and remove any damp or slimy leaves. Ideally, you would harvest dandelion while it’s still young, as it becomes extremely bitter after the leaves age.

Cleaning dandelions for consumption:

Run dandelion crowns and green through water while carefully opening their crowns to be sure you’ve removed any dirt and pests. If you’re using fresh dandelion root, peel the “skin” like a carrot, and clean it well. Then you can slice it exactly like you would a carrot. Give it a try; it’s delicious!

Enjoy with our Refreshing dandelion iced tea recipe, a dandelion root latte, dandelion lemonade or dandelion tea. And don’t forget to save a few flowers to make some dandelion honey this spring.

So before you head out foraging, remember:

  • Identify correctly: Ensure you pick true dandelions (Taraxacum officinale), not lookalikes. Use a reliable plant identification guide or app. Dandelions are easy to come by and easily identifiable.
  • Forage responsibly: Pick from clean, pesticide-free areas away from roads and pollution.
  • Harvest sustainably: Only pick what you need, leaving plenty for the bees and future generations.

Dandelion Shortbread Recipe

This recipe is surprisingly simple

  • 1 cup butter, softened unsalted (225 grams)
  • ½ cup icing / powdered sugar (60 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup corn starch (68 grams)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour 260 grams
  • 1 cup dandelion petals (the whole plant is edible, use whichever parts you wish, the petals are the least bitter)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Clean your dandelions -run dandelion crowns and green through the water while carefully opening their crowns to be sure you’ve removed any dirt and pests. Peel the “skin” like a carrot using fresh dandelion root. Let dry completely.
  • Make a dandelion sugar using a mortar, pestle, blender, or food processor. Grind your dandelions with granulated sugar and vanilla extract until it’s a well-combined powder.
  • In a medium bowl, cream the butter, dandelion vanilla sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and cornstarch until well blended. Sift the flour mixture into your creamed butter; you will likely need to use your hands to form a ball. The dough will be somewhat soft.
  • Cover your dough with plastic or beeswax wrap and refrigerate for a few minutes – up to 30 minutes (optional)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C).
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness.
  • Cut into rectangles 1 ½x2 inches in size or cut into shapes using a cookie cutter. 
  • Place cookies 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets
  • Bake for 12 minutes in the oven, or until golden at the edges.
  • Cool on wire racks, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

NOTES

Shortbread cookies keep longer than most other cookies, making them perfect for edible gifts or when you need to make something ahead. They even taste better the next day or two after you bake them! They will be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to three months.

So, ditch the weed killer and embrace the dandelion’s culinary potential. With this recipe, you can transform a humble flower into a delightful treat, celebrating the beauty and bounty of spring. and let’s spread the joy of edible dandelions!

dandelion shortbread cookies in little wicker picnic baskets

Dandelion Shortbread

Spring is on the horizon, and you know what that means…dandelion shortbread! Yes, those cheerful little “weeds” popping up can be the secret ingredient to a delightful and unique dessert: dandelion shortbread. Imagine buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread infused with subtle sweetness and a bit of bitter tart of dandelion greens. It’s a taste of sunshine captured in a cookie, perfect for picnics in the park or afternoon tea parties.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
chill 10 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Serving Size 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened unsalted (225 grams)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (60 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup corn starch (68 grams)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (260 grams)
  • 1 cup dandelion petals the whole plant is edible, use whichever parts you wish, the petals are the least bitter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Clean your dandelions – run dandelion crowns and green through the water while carefully opening their crowns to be sure you’ve removed any dirt and pests. Peel the “skin” like a carrot using fresh dandelion root. Let dry completely.
  • Make a dandelion sugar using a mortar, pestle, blender, or food processor. Grind your dandelions with granulated sugar and vanilla extract until it’s a well-combined powder.
  • In a medium bowl, cream the butter, dandelion sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Combine the flour, salt, and cornstarch in a separate bowl until well blended. Sift the flour mixture into your creamed butter; you will likely need to use your hands to form a ball. The dough will be somewhat soft.
  • Cover your dough with plastic or beeswax wrap and refrigerate for a few minutes – up to 30 minutes (optional)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C).
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
  • Cut into rectangles 1 ½x2 inches in size or cut into shapes using a cookie cutter.
  • Place cookies 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets
  • Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until golden at the edges.
  • Cool on wire racks, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

Shortbread cookies keep longer than most other cookies, making them perfect for edible gifts or when you need to make something ahead. They even taste better the next day or two after you bake them! They will be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to three months.
  • Identify correctly: Ensure you pick true dandelions (Taraxacum officinale), not lookalikes. Use a reliable plant identification guide or app. Dandelions are easy to come by and easily identifiable.
  • Forage responsibly: Pick from clean, pesticide-free areas away from roads and pollution.

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