Rose Cardamom Meringue Kisses

I made these to serve triple duty — I wanted to put some out at yesterday’s event, I’ll include them in the next batch of Patreon boxes, and I also just like have meringue kisses around for nibbling on — they’re perfect when you want a tiny hit of delicate sweetness.

So I made a triple batch, which took two rounds in the mixer and the oven, but I figured most people would go for a more modest single batch, so that’s the recipe I’ve written up here. Remember to save those extra egg yolks to make some curd — passionfruit curd is very hard to beat.

If I were making these for folks from South Asia or the Middle East, I’d go heavier on the rose, but for Americans, light rose generally goes over better. It takes a little getting used to, though interestingly, before vanilla became easily accessible here, rose was a dominant flavoring in early America!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you attempt to make meringues on high humidity days, they may deflate significantly. (They’ll still be tasty, though, just a little more dense & chewy.) Proceed at your own risk.


2 egg whites
3/4 t. cream of tartar
2 c. white sugar
2/3 c. water
1-2 T rosewater
1/4 t. ground cardamom
1/4 t. salt
red or pink food coloring (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 250 F; line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Using an electric mixer and a large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar on high speed, until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Set aside.

3. Make rose-cardamom syrup: in a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, rose extract, cardamom, salt, and food coloring (if using). Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for another minute or two, stirring constantly, and then remove from stove.

4. Turn mixer with beaten egg whites on high, and slowly pour the syrup in a thin stream into the whites. Beat until syrup is incorporated and the meringue is stiff and shiny.

5. If you’re feeling fancy, transfer meringue into a plastic bag or pastry bag, using a star tip to make meringues. But I always just drop by spoonfuls (it helps to use the back of a second spoon to slide the meringue off the first spoon) onto the prepared baking sheet. They look charmingly rustic that way.

6. Bake until the meringues are firm to the touch, 60-90 minutes. Don’t remove them, or the insides will be chewy. Just turn off the oven and allow them to cool as the oven cools, to finish baking the interiors. You can leave them overnight if you like; they’ll be just fine.

Lime & Rosewater Shortbread, with White Chocolate & Centaurea Petals

Now that the semester’s over (I’m hoping to finish my grading today), I’ve started baking for the spring Patreon treat boxes (which I think we’re going to be shipping around the 2nd week of June). If you join now (by the end of May), you’ll get a June box, which is something like a 75% discount on that box. 🙂 They start at $10 / month:

We have a fairies & starlight theme for this set of treat boxes, and I feel like these are bang on theme — can’t you just see fairies sprinkling delicate centaurea petals about? And aren’t they adorable on the flowered china? But sadly, I’ve forgotten the name of which grandmother we inherited this china from — Susan, do you remember?

Since we’re hosting an event at the house on Saturday, I figure I can put some of the baked goods out for nibbling while people shop, and I’ll wrap the others individually tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them, so they stay fresh for the treat boxes.

I waffled a little on how to top these cookies, but I think I’m going to save the colorful sprinkles to top something else. These are my classic very limey shortbread, graced with white chocolate and centaurea (aka cornflower).

If you don’t grow organic centaurea in your own garden, fear not — it’s easy to find the petals online.


Lime & Rosewater Shortbread,

with White Chocolate & Centaurea Petals


3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 scraped vanilla beans or 2 t. pure vanilla extract
3/4 t. salt
1 lime, zest and juice
1 t. citric acid (optional)
1 T rosewater
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 c. crystallized ginger, chopped fine
1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips (optional)
dried organic centaurea (cornflower) petals (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar; add the vanilla and salt, citric acid, lime juice, lime zest, and rosewater. Then add flour and mix on low until dough forms. Stir in ginger.

3. Turn out dough onto floured board. (If it’s not coming together into a dough, the heat of your hands will help.) Firmly pat flat (to desired cookie height, usually about 1/2 inch). If using cookie cutters, cut out shapes, place on parchment-covered baking sheet, and chill for 15 minutes (to help hold shape).

NOTE: Can be kept chilled at this point for several days, covered in plastic wrap, and then rolled, cut, and baked fresh.

Alternately, press into baking pan or shortbread mold, prick with fork. You can also cut shapes out after baking — shortbread is very forgiving that way — but then the individual cookie edges won’t be browned. Or you can do what I did for this batch — roll them into two long tubes, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, chill, and then just slice for slightly wonky round-ish cookies.

4. Remove from fridge and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown, then remove to wire rack to cool.

5. Optional decorating — once shortbread has cooled, melt white chocolate in microwave at half power for a few minutes, or in a double boiler. Dip shortbread pieces in chocolate, then set on rack to dry. Sprinkle with dried petals while chocolate is still liquid.

Packing Up Narnia in Love

It was such a rush finishing up the winter Patreon boxes before I left for ICFA, I didn’t get to posting the final photos. I love how this theme came out, “Narnia in Love”.

They boxes went pretty well, but I made one mistake — I should have double-bagged the soap and bath salts in the higher-tier packages, because the scent was strong enough that it affected some of the treats, even though they were wrapped in plastic. I should have thought — sigh. Next time!

We’ve really gotten better at all this; ice packs in plastic in every box, wrapping and freezing baked goods as soon as they’re made to maintain freshness. But there’s a lot to learn too! Complicated. Appreciate patrons who are patient with me; I try to make sure that there’s so much in the treat boxes that it makes up for any small issues. I want people to feel like they’re getting great value for money.

Started baking yesterday for the next batch, theme Fairies and Starlight. Lime & rosewater shortbread, decorated with white chocolate and edible cornflower petals. Photos soon. 🙂

Hard to Go Wrong

Finished up the higher tier treat boxes yesterday and shipped them out. Will take a break from production for a month or so, then start working on the spring boxes. Also might take a break from eating sweets for a month too? We’ll see. 🙂

What do you do with extra bits of milk toffee and extra tamarind-cayenne marshmallows? Chop them up and add them to melted chocolate. Hard to go wrong here…

Pink and Silver Pretty

Pink and silver are v. pretty together. This is what ended up in the Earth Tier “Narnia in Love” boxes:

• Artist’s Valentine rose-cardamom iced cookie
• “Caramel Loves Passionfruit” marshmallows
• strawberry marshmallow
• chocolate scone with cherry & orange
• gingered red velvet crinkle cookie
• brownie drizzle heart cookie
• rose tea: decaf English Breakfast tea, cocoa rouge, Penzey’s vanilla, rose petals
• confections box: pomegranate chocolate roses (gold), dragonfruit chocolates, cayenne chocolate roses (red), rosewater Turkish delight (lokum), rose truffle
• crocheted heart pin
• recipe card and mini bookmarks

Pretty good value, I think. 🙂 Hope the recipients love them!

Pretty Confection Box

Very pretty confection box this time around, I think.

• pomegranate chocolate rose
• pistachio-rose truffle
• rosewater & lemon Turkish delight
• dragonfruit & citrus chocolate

• cayenne chocolate rose

Happy with the result. 🙂

Four Crowns

I needed four crowns in the box, of course. Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy.

“Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia. May your wisdom grace us until the stars rain down from the heavens.”

Molds Are Magic

They are so pretty. And not fancy, actually — it’s just white chocolate, milk chocolate, ruby chocolate, dark chocolate; I didn’t add any flavorings to these. The Callebaut chocolate is so tasty, just as it is. And they look so charming all together. Molds are magic.

I tried gilding them, but they actually looked better without!

These are for my Narnia-themed treat boxes. I wish I’d had these for Kavi’s 5th birthday princess party; they would’ve been perfect. Ah well! I’m sure there will be another princess party in my future at some point…