As kids, my brother and five sisters picked fistfuls of dandelions every May and place the blooms in front of the statue of Blessed Mother my mom had set up as our May altar. Blessed Mother Mary had more dandelions than she could count. Every day we refilled the vases with fresh yellow flowers.
Every summer, my dad checked to see if we liked butter. He did this by rubbing the dandelion blossom under our chin and if our skin turned yellow that meant you liked butter. We all liked butter!
My grandma used to make dandelion wine, but I was too young to try it. My mom’s mom used to cut a crop of fresh dandelion greens first thing every spring and make herself a salad. She said they were good for you and had a bitter taste she enjoyed once in a while.
The other day, I was noticing how yellow the dandelions were this year. Down the alley from my house was a fine-looking crop of them. I did a little research to see what I might find to do with them, and I came across a recipe that I found interesting. I went into action.
Dandelion Shortbread Cookies
Makes 12-16 cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 to 1 cup dandelion petals (yellow parts only)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 pinch salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter and sugar together with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add dandelion petals and mix in. Make sure you picked your dandelions from a chemical-free space wash and pat dry flowers before you hold the green part of the flower and gently pull the yellow petals out.
Gradually add flour and salt, and beat until fluffy. The dough will be crumbly at first but be patient.
Once all the flour is added, beat on low another minute or so. Then knead gently with your hands until the dough comes together.
Roll cookies into shooter marble size balls.
Press down with a decorative glass bottom glass dipped in sugar.
Bake cookies at 325 for about 20 to 22 minutes, on a parchment sheet of paper-lined cookie sheet until they begin to brown on the bottoms and are fully cooked on the top.
Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
This recipe of shortbread is one of the best one I have found to date to work with. I think I will be on the hunt to see what else I could add to the batter. For now, dandelion petals will be my go-to cookie for special events. They certainly are conversating starters for sure.
A dandelion…Some see a weed others see a wish.