I like to have an assortment of rose colors candied, so I can have a selection on hand for decorating desserts. Of course, the tastier and more fragrant rose petals make a better confection. This job takes a little patience; it goes more quickly if you do it with a friend. The following recipe for crystallized rose petals will coat up to 300 petals. Note: If you prefer not to use raw egg white, try powdered egg white.
• 1 extra large egg white, at room temperature
• Few drops water or rose water
• About 1 cup superfine sugar
• Rinsed and dried rose petals
• A small paint brush or two
1. Spread a sheet of waxed paper on a baking rack. In a small bowl, combine egg white with water or rose water and beat lightly with a fork or small whisk until the white just shows a few bubbles.
2. Pour sugar in a shallow dish.
3. Holding a petal in one hand, dip a paint brush into the egg white and gently paint the petal. Cover it completely, but not excessively. Hold the petal over the sugar dish and gently sprinkle sugar evenly all over both sides. Place the petal on the waxed paper to dry. Continue with the rest of the petals
4. Let petals dry completely; they should be free of moisture. This could take 12 to 36 hours depending on humidity. To hasten drying, the candied flowers can be placed in an oven overnight with a pilot light, or in an oven with the oven light turned on for a few hours. They should be crunchy-crisp when dried. Store in airtight containers.
Susan Belsinger loves immersing herself in all things herbal and looks forward to researching, growing, cooking and photographing each new Herb of the Year.