Have you eaten any flowers today?
On most days, we could swiftly answer “no.” But today would be a different story. While perusing the isles at our local Wegman’s, we found these candied hibiscus flowers. We were intrigued, but couldn’t be sure how they would taste. They looked like miniature scarlet jellyfish. We thought they might be good in biscotti, so we added them to the cart.
Hibiscus comes in many forms, wild hibiscus flowers in syrup for cocktails, hibiscus flower powder for baking, and dried hibiscus leaves for tea. Hibiscus are also showing up in recipes like hibiscus flower enchiladas, Moroccan mint tea and hibiscus flower granita, and strawberry hibiscus champagne jam.
These Hibiscus Biscotti were simply inspired by one gocery store find. We added a few healthy ingredients to even out the sugary coating on the hibiscus flowers and were pleasantly surprised. Our miniature jellyfish tasted fantastic dunked in some hibiscus tea.
Since we were baking with hibiscus, we thought we’d plant a hibiscus tree this spring. The flowers are beautiful, but what we are really wondering is if we can eat them.
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar, additional for the topping
3 tablespoons honey powder
½ cup almond meal
2 tablespoons chai seeds
3 tablespoons flaxmeal
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
½ cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
½ cup almonds
¾ cup chopped candied hibiscus flowers
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, honey powder, almond meal, chai seeds, flaxmeal, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Add the pumpkin seeds and almonds. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
7. Coat the top of each log with light brown sugar.
8. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
9. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends #75: Use the ends to evenly space your seeds when planting your vegetable garden.