Friday, June 06, 2008

Put the Petal to the Metal

The heat we've had this latter part of the week has caused that large rosebush to erupt in a fiery red flow of blossoms. They're absolutely gorgeous!

But this rapid bloom has meant that I need to hurry up and pick lots of roses for culinary use. Flowers won't wait for my chosen "best" time!

I brought home a large bowl filled with roses, and I'm working my way through the pile. First I shredded enough petals to make four cups, and I combined them with 2 cups of sugar, letting them sit in a covered non-reactive saucepan during the day. When I came home, I brought water to the boil and then poured 2 cups of boiling water into the pan. The heat shocked color and flavor from the petals into the sugar water, and I simmered the mixture for several
minutes, waiting for all the sugar to dissolve and hoping to eke out every bit of rosy goodness.

After the liquid had cooled, I strained the rose petal syrup into two bottles. Now, when I made the syrup before, either I didn't have the proportions right or something, because that syrup turned out a delicate pink. This syrup, though, retained its intense ruby color and clarity. It also had a fragrance much more like the original roses, so I will really enjoy using this syrup over ice cream, in sodas, and in baking.

In fact, I gave it a try last evening as I mixed together a simple refrigerator cookie dough with shredded rose petals scattered throughout the recipe. Following my recipe for lavender cookies, I added a touch of the rose petal syrup along with the vanilla, just to layer that elusive rose flavor in the hopes of bringing it out more.

I can't say that I succeeded in making it truly rose-flavored, but it did have a slightly different flavor than just vanilla cookies. I baked the batch this morning, before work and the heat of the day, and I'm sure others will enjoy the subtle flavors and fragrance as much as I do.

In the meantime, I'd better hurry and do something with the rest of those roses!

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At 6/09/2008 11:32 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

Your rose cooking fascinates me, but my rose bush is about spent. Next year, though, I'm going to have to try some of your rosy recipes!

At 6/10/2008 7:22 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

This is probably the most impressive year I've seen in the past 10 for roses blooming like this, so I've been able to do so much more than I expected... and they're still coming on!!! Some years, though... meh. So I'll keep my fingers crossed for you next year!


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