Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hibiscus Sugar Cookies with Hibiscus Syrup #CreativeCookieExchange

Dried hibiscus flowers have long been used to make tea or, more technically correct, a tisane, which is sipped hot or cold. The tart beverage is said to lower blood pressure and to have antioxidants a plenty. I’m here to tell you that hibiscus petals also make some pretty tasty sugar cookies and a divine flavored syrup.

In my current part of the world, hibiscus tisane (“tea” made from flowers) is a thing. Iranians call it sour tea and they aren’t kidding. The dried petals are available in the bulk section of my local supermarket, along with the spices, dried pulses, marinated olives and chunks of local cheese. Sometimes I just wander over to that area to inhale the fragrances but, often, I am seduced into making a purchase. Who can resist?

This is an immense oval with spices and other goodies on all sides - Carrefour Hypermarket, Mirdiff City Centre

When our Creative Cookie Exchange host, Laura from The Spiced Life, posted this month’s theme – Flowers – I practically clapped my hands with glee. After my week of baking with tea back in March, when I was visiting my friend who owns a tea shop in Michigan, I knew hibiscus cookies were not only possible, but that they would be delicious.

For about 32-36 cookies:
1/2 cup or 16g dried hibiscus
1 cup or 225g unsalted butter
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Cognac (or sub orange juice if you don’t do alcohol)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups or 280g flour

For the syrup:
1/4 cup or 8g hibiscus
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
Pinch salt
1/4 cup or 60ml water

Pulse the hibiscus petals in a food processor until they are in small pieces, stopping before you create complete hibiscus dust. There will be some pink dust but that’s okay.

With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy and light.

Add in the eggs, Cognac, salt, vanilla, flour and hibiscus petals and mix until a soft dough forms.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Let rest at least one hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.

Cut off small chunks of dough and roll them between your hand.

Space them out two inches or four centimeters apart on the prepared pan. Press them gently into circles with your palm.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until light gold at the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, to make the syrup, put all the ingredients except the butter into a small pot and bring it to the boil.

The color starts to seep out, even before I've turned the stove on!

Turn the pot down and let it bubble away gently until the liquid is reduced by almost half. The color should be a gorgeous fuchsia. (By the way, as a complete aside, hibiscus water is a great natural coloring to dye white eggs for Easter.)

Strain the syrup into a small bowl.

Add the butter. Stir until it’s melted.

Spread the candied petals out on parchment paper, pulling them apart so they can dry a little. They are going to be very sticky. I have to tell you that I couldn’t pass by the parchment without pinching one and eating it. They are sour and sweet and definitely more-ish. If they don’t appeal to you, you don’t have to save them but do give them a try.

When the cookies are completely cool, drizzle a little syrup over each.

Top with the candied petals, if desired.



If all the spring showers have put you in the flower mood, you are going to love all the cookies the group has baked this month!

If you would like to join us for future Creative Cookie Exchange challenges, just contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! 

No comments :

Post a Comment

Where in the world are you? Leave me a comment! It makes me happy to know you are out there.