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Lilac Shortbread Rounds

A simple recipe for delicious shortbread biscuits made using the delicious taste of a favorite summer floral - lilac blossoms.



Lilac Shortbread Biscuits

Lilac flowers have a deliciously heavy scent which transfers to sweet treats exceptionally. If you haven't tasted Lilacs, they are very similar to old school parma violet sweets, but when used in baking the flavor is very subtle.


They're more commonly found in gardens than growing wild, but you do occasionally come across the odd one growing rogue in hedgerows and woodlands. The flower for a very short period around the end of may, beginning of June so be sure to make use of them while you can! If you're lucky enough to have one growing in your own garden, I envy you. The scent of the blossoms on a cool summers evening is quiet heavenly.


Foraged Lilac Flowers

As I don't share the luck of having my own Lilac tree, and there aren't too many growing wild locally, I have been keeping my eyes peeled for one as I've been out and about. I eventually spotted one while out in the car and went back one evening with my basket to pluck a few flowerheads. I like to make sure I gather enough flowerheads to make lilac sugar and syrup at the same time to avoid waste and to stock up for the summer.


If you haven't made either Lilac sugar or syrup before, you can check out my Facebook page for the recipes and instructions for how to make these. They're both really simple to make and only take a few minutes, and you can use these methods for any edible flowers.


Flower Syrup or Honey

All of my recipes are plant based, but you can substitute your own alternatives. Aside from foraged foods, I try to use only ingredients that most of us will have as cupboard essentials, to make them as easy and as accessible as possible. For this recipe I used block baking butter and it really does make a difference to using a spread, due to the lower water content, so while you can use a spread, just be aware that your biscuits may turn out a little differently.

 

Makes 12 large rounds


Ingredients for the shortbread: 6oz baking block butter (I use Stork) 9oz plain flour 3oz lilac sugar


Ingredients for the icing: A few tablespoons Lilac syrup About 3oz icing sugar


For the shortbread:

  1. Mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl.

  2. Roughly chop the butter and add to the mix. Using your hands, rub the flour and sugar into the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.

  3. Knead it all together to make the biscuit 'dough'.

  4. Roll it out onto a floured surface, to about 1cm thick. Cut out your rounds and place them onto a baking sheet. I used round cookie cutters, but you can really use any shape you want too.

  5. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 180 C.

For the icing:

  1. While they're cooling you can make the icing by mixing a few tablespoons of lilac syrup with the icing sugar. You want a fairly thick consistency, but not so thick that it doesn't drizzle.

  2. Drizzle over the top of the biscuits and sprinkle with a little bit of the lilac sugar.

  3. The flowers in the picture are violas (heartsease) and are just for decoration - but they are edible. You could also try adding a few lilac blossoms or wild violets, use whatever you have to hand.

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The Cramlington Forager

Here I share my own recipes which I use to make the most of seasonal wild food. You'll find handy foraging guides and plant profiles to help get to know the plants which grow all around us, and to start you down your own foraging journey.

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