Adding distinctive flavor and beautiful color to cookie frosting is easy when you snip a few edible flowers, such as lavender, dianthus, or pansy blooms from your garden.
Choose tender dianthus and pansy petals for lovely natural color.
Note: Be sure blooms you use haven't been treated with pesticides. Pluck off fresh, tiny edible purple blooms and bases from mature lavender bracts for delicious flavor.
Process 3 cups powdered sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lavender blooms, and 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons dianthus or pansy petals in a food processor.
Process the mixture until the blooms are extremely fine (about 2 minutes). Add 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest, finely grated; process another 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the food processor cover to check that the blooms have been thoroughly chopped. Scrape down the sides halfway through if necessary.
Add 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold and cut into small pieces). Process until the mixture just starts coming together and no clumps of butter remain.
Add 1 teaspoon of water; pulse and check the frosting's hue.
To brighten the hue of the buttercream frosting, gradually adding up to 5 teaspoons of cranberry juice concentrate, thawed.
Check the consistency; if needed, add a little water or powdered sugar until the frosting reaches spreading or piping consistency. Remember, frosting will thicken as it stands.
If desired, put frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch-diameter open-star tip.
Pipe stars or rotate the tube slightly as you pipe to form rosettes on the cookies.
You also may use a table knife to simply swirl about 1 teaspoon frosting on each cookie.
If you wish, accent the frosting with flowers or flower petals; adhere them by dipping the petal bottoms lightly into frosting, then pressing them atop the frosted cookies. If embellished with fresh flowers, serve cookies immediately. If simply frosted, store cookies in an airtight container for two days.