Viola Shortbread Cookies


- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Approx 30 fresh viola


1. Put the sugar and soft butter into a food processor and pulse to combine.
2. Add the flour and vanilla extract, and pulse just until the dough comes together into a lump or lumps.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring together into a smooth flat disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 2 hours.
4. While the dough is chilling, remove the stems from the viola, and place them on a large sheet of parchment paper. Place another sheet on top, and then weigh it down with a baking tray or other large flat surface, topped with several heavy books. Let the viola press for at least 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C
6. Roll out the dough to a 5mm thickness and cut out with a cookie cutter.
7. Bake the cookies in batches, 1 tray at a time for 5-8min. Your cookies will not brown, they will be pale and soft when done.
8. Remove the tray from the oven and gently press the flat viola onto the hot cookies, pressing slightly to adhere the flowers to the cookies. Don't press too hard, the heat of the cookies will do the job. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Let the cookies cool completely on a rack. Cookies will firm when cooled.

Makes 24 Small Cookies

Image from Instagram by @clarelicious_delicious

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