Cake · Little treats · Sweets

Dandelion Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 200g dairy free spread (I use Vitalite)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 30g dandelion honey (if you haven’t made the honey then just use 30g more of sugar)
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • 20 dandelions – you just want the yellow petals.

Method

  • In a bowl cream together the butter, vanilla, dandelion honey and sugar.
  • Then add in the flour and dandelion petals.
  • Stir it together, you might need to get your hands in! Until it forms a soft dough.
  • Pop in to a covered dish in the fridge for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 / 200c.
  • Take the dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll out until is is 5mm thick.
  • Cut our your biscuits, we like them small but you can make larger ones!
  • Pop on to a baking sheet and into the oven for 8-10 minutes until they start to turn a light brown.
  • Take them from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack until cool.
  • Store in an air tight container.

Tips and cheats

My children love to make these. They love to pull out the yellow petals into the bowl. They love to dip them into the dandelion honey to eat them too! (Sugar overload!). They keep for a few days but are best fresh and they are just so buttery and light. They look so pretty on the plate too.

Jams and jars · Recipes

Dandelion Honey

Ingredients

  • 100g of dandelion heads (see note at the bottom)
  • 50 ml of lemon juice
  • 2 apples cut in to 1/4
  • 1 litre of water
  • 3.5 cups of sugar

Method

  • Give the dandelions a good shake, we like to give them a little spin in the salad spinner to remove all the bugs.
  • Add to a large pan with the water, apples and lemon juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure the flowers are covered with the water – you may need a little more it depends on the pan and size of the flowers!
  • Strain the flower liquid keeping the liquid, press as mush out as you can. You can discard the flowers and apples the goodness has gone now.
  • Pour the liquid back into a clean pan and add the sugar. The ration is 3.5 cups to 1 litre of liquid so you can adjust accordingly.
  • You can stir the minute once and then don’t stir it otherwise it will crystallise. slowly bring the mixture to the boil then turn to a low heat and let it simmer very very gently.
  • You don’t want the sugar to burn but you also want the liquid to evaporate by about 1/3. The move liquid you evaporate the thicker the honey will be.
  • Once you are happy with the consistency you can pour in to sterile jars and put the lids on.
  • Allow to cool completely before serving.

Tips and Cheats

When picking dandelions it is best to pick them on a sunny day. Later in the day is best but not too late as you want to pick them when they are open. Always leave plenty for the bees. We say pick 1/10 flowers that way there is plenty left. You only need the head of the flower, you can keep the green bit on as if you remove it you’ll remove some of the nectar and this is the bit we want. You can use the stems to make trumpets!

If you give them a little shake the thunder bugs should pop out, we spin them in the salad spinner bit not to hard otherwise the good stuff will come out!

Watch the hot sugar liquid it is super hot and I wouldn’t want you to burn yourselves. Let the children pick the dandelions but adults should do the honey making!

You can also use the flower petals on a salad and even the leaves! Always try to pick from a field where you’re less likely to have dogs and also away from busy roads. They honey is lovely straight from the jar, on hot toast, used as a replacement in baking for honey or maple syrup or in a hot honey and lemon tea.