These cookies are based on a recipe for Italian ricotta cookies. They are cakey and light, and made without eggs. They are also quick to make and you can get the whole family involved. They are wonderful with chocolate, orange or lemon icing, and increase the citrus flavor by adding the zest of one orange or lemon to the batter. Use your imagination!
In a large saucepan over high heat, bring water just to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in dried lavender flowers, and let steep for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, strain the mixture into a deep kettle or pot, discarding the lavender flowers. Stir in lemon juice and pectin; continue stirring until the pectin is dissolved. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil; add sugar. When the jelly solution returns to a hard rolling boil, let it boil for 2-4 minutes (see below), stirring occasionally.
- Rinse the flowers and spin them very dry in a salad spinner or pillowcase.
- Place half of the sugar into a small shallow bowl with a flat bottom.
- Spread the violets over the sugar.
- Top with the remaining sugar and lightly crush the sugar into the violets using the base of a heavy drinking glass or a mortar and pestle.
- Cover the bowl with a clean, thin, dry dish towel until the flowers are completely dried out, which could be a couple of days depending on the humidity in your area.
- Sift through an open strainer. Bottle the sugar and the sugared flowers separately.
- Cap and store in a cool dark place.