I’ve only recently gotten into wild foods for cooking and baking but I am love with this branch of herbal art/creation. It is such a satisfying feeling to know that I can make delicious food from plants that grow in my own yard or in the fields behind my home. Last year when the lilacs flowered I made lilac syrup (oh so good and definitely worth a look see) but this year I decided to try my hand at lilac blossom sugar cookies. After Monkey gobbled up two, my neighbour gave them the thumbs up and my husband went “Mmmmmm” I decided they must be good enough to post.
Growing up in Canada I was no stranger to Anne of Green Gables, both the books and the films. As I was making these cookies the image of Anne sitting down with Marilla enjoying these cookies with a glass of raspberry cordial popped into my mind. What a delightful thought! Something about the smell and flavour of lilacs makes me think of afternoon tea, fancy luncheons (the ones with the tiny sandwiches) or small communities (like Anne’s) enjoying a meal together.
But I digress….
Unlike the lilac syrup, the flavour of the blossoms is more subtle in this recipe. Not overwhelming or powerful, but instead pleasant and slightly fragrant. The pairing of lilac with vanilla was truly lovely, but I imagine this recipe would also work with lemon extract or lemon zest replacing the vanilla. In fact if you like the pairing of lilac and lemon wander on over to Nitty Gritty Life and check out her recipes for lilac meringues with lemon curd. I know it’s not a word but…. nom.
Experimenting with Substitutions
As I mentioned above try mixing it up a little! Substitute lemon zest or lemon extract for the vanilla. Also, if you are not a fan of coconut or are allergic, this recipe works just as well with butter (ideally organic grass fed). As for sugar substitutes, I do not have any. If you experiment and have some success substituting for honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar etc. please comment below and let me know. And finally free free to use your regular old all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour as well… I’m just on a spelt kick 😉
A Note About Harvesting Locations
I have a beautiful lilac bush in my backyard far from the road. We also don’t spray anything nor use any chemicals at all. I feel very comfortable harvesting my flowers from them and I don’t feel any need to rinse/wash them. However if you are harvesting close to a dusty road, busy intersection etc. you may want to rinse and dry off your blossoms before using them. If you are harvesting anywhere near a pollution source I recommend not using them at all as even a good rinse won’t help get chemicals off (or out of) plants.
Okay so we got onto the recipe. Now I have to add a bit of a disclaimer here… these are not healthy. They are most definitely a sugar cookie and a treat, but they are delicious and worth making a batch. You could try reducing the sugar in the recipe a bit but I have not experimented with that so I’m uncertain how they would turn out.
For more wild and herbal food recipes you can check out some of my other blog posts:
Thanks for joining me and happy foraging,
P.S. Pin and share often please 😉