As part of my personal challenge to forage at least one edible plant a month this summer in Anchorage, I decided to revisit wild rose petals. Several years back I collected these perfectly pink petals and made a just-OK jelly out of them. Thing is, I don’t eat jelly. I’m not a toast and jam kind of gal, I guess.
This time I opted to make rose petal syrup. It was easy to prepare and resulted in a gorgeous pink concoction that tasted as good as roses smell.
The wild roses are in full bloom here in Anchorage and it’s hard not to find them. I picked petals on the side of the highway, on my street and in my back yard. They have been in bloom since the first week of June and will probably be around for another week before they fade, fall and begin to turn into rose hips (and that’s another foraging adventure!)
Rose Petal Syrup
To make one bottle of syrup I collected about 2 gently packed cups of petals. Be ready to encounter some caterpillars, bugs and spiders (I lost about a cup of petals when I spotted an arachnid creeping around my collecting jar).
I loved making it so much that I went and picked 10 more cups. So now I have 5 beautiful jars of pink rose syrup… so now what? I tried some in my morning coffee (I gave it a B minus) and I mixed it with champagne (too sweet). I needed something to counterbalance the sweet rose fragrance. Rhubarb was my answer. Mainly because my parents have a ton of it and it ties in with my whole “Harvesting Anchorage” theme.
The cookies were an experiment because I’m not much of a baker and I have never baked cookies with rhubarb; but they turned out fluffy, lemony, slightly tart and with a heavenly rose fragrance. Topped with a rose syrup glaze and I believe I made a cookie of the gods. Thanks to my friend Sharon for helping me figure out the proportions and for the staging assistance!
Rose and Rhubarb Cookies (Check below for a bonus cocktail recipe!)
Makes about 24, 2-inch cookies
- 1 cup finely chopped rhubarb
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup rose syrup (recipe here)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel and finely chop the rhubarb. Add 2 tsp. sugar, the lemon zest and juice and mix well. Let the rhubarb marinate for about 10 minutes.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and rose syrup. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. When well combined add the rhubarb mixture.
Use a tablespoon to measure the cookies. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake 9-11 minutes. These cookies won’t brown on top. When they begin to brown on the edges, remove from the oven. Let them cool on a rack.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbs. light corn syrup
- 1.5 Tbs. rose syrup
When cookies are cool, whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup and rose syrup. Place a paper towel under the cookie drying rack to catch leftover glaze. With a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the cookies. Let sit until glaze is hardened.
Ok, so I can’t make rose syrup without mixing it with some booze. Here’s a gin cocktail I made up the other night. You smell the roses before sipping it and the scent comes alive once it reaches your mouth.
- 2 oz. gin
- 1.5 oz. rose syrup
- 2 oz. lemon juice
- Club soda
Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in the gin, syrup and lemon juice. Stir and top off with club soda. Enjoy!