What Goes With Tea and Cookies? Flowers.

Don’t just be fashionable and wear flowers next time you have tea. And don’t just have them in a vase on the table.

Eat them! That’s right, you can nibble on their delicate petals. You can find edible flowers in salads, in flatbreads, in jams and even in ice cubes! In fact, these pansy-topped shortbread cookies (recipe below) are absolutely beautiful, absolutely delicious, absolutely wonderful with tea, and if you make them, they’ll make you the hostess with the mostess.

shortbread cookies with pansies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • About 30 fresh pansies


  • Put the soft butter (room temperature) and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine completely.
  • Add the flour and vanilla, pulse about 10 times, and then run the machine a bit, just until the dough comes together.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring it together into a smooth flat disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it until firm, about 2 hours.
  • While the dough is chilling, remove the stems from the pansies, and place them on a large sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Place another sheet on top, and then weigh it down with a baking tray, topped with several heavy books. Press the pansies for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, then roll out the dough to a ⅛- to ¼-inch thickness and cut out the cookies with a 2 ½ cutter. 
  • Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, depending on thickness. Remember, your cookies won’t brown, and will be pale and soft when done.
  • Remove the tray from the oven and gently press the flat pansies onto the hot cookies; the heat of the cookies should adhere the flowers. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. 
  • Let the cookies cool completely on a rack. They’ll firm up as they cool. Enjoy!

Other edible flowers that would look (and taste) lovely with these cookies?

  • Violet and viola blooms
  • Rose petals
  • Geranium petals
  • Marigold petals

Flowers from your garden. Shortbread cookies from your oven. Harney & Sons tea from Bonaire. Now that’s a proper way to fashion an afternoon!