Prep: 15 minutes
Wait: 24 to 48 hours
1 tsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pasteurized egg white (Look for a carton stamped “pasteurized,” or buy pasteurized egg whites by the pint.)
Clean, dry, organic violets, pansies, rose petals (even small whole roses), lavender blossoms, mint leaves or other edible flowers and leaves
Superfine sugar (Stocked next to the regular sugar. Or make it by buzzing sugar in the blender or food processor. Stop when sugar is finer than granulated sugar and grainier than confectioners’ sugar.)
Mix: Use a fork to stir water and vanilla into egg white. Mix, as opposed to froth, the egg.
Paint: Use a pastry brush to paint one flower with egg white mixture on both sides.
Gild: Drop the painted flower into a bowl of superfine sugar. Toss to coat.
Dry: Set sugared flower on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining flowers. Let dry 24 to 48 hours. When dry, use to decorate a fanciful midsummer cake, cupcake, ice cream dish, cheese plate or anything else.