Nestor said crystallized flowers can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in keep them in a cool place — not a refrigerator — for as long as a month.
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Making crystallized flowers is simple. Brush egg white over the petals, then sprinkle granulated sugar over the wet egg. Let dry.
Don't use flowers from the flower shop, Nestor emphasized, because you don't know if pesticides or other poisons have been used. She grows her own flowers. She uses rose petals, lavender, pansies.
— Chris Copley, assistant Lifestyle editor
Lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream icing with crystalized pansies
For the cake:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
3 teaspoons lemon peel, grated
Juice from 1 medium lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups sour cream
Lemon buttercream icing: