Use edible flowers in the right amount and they can be like any herb or spice, present not to be the dominating flavor, but a supporting one. And to answer your impending question: No, cooking with them will not make food taste like perfume!
Just be sure that whatever your flower of choice is, it's culinary grade, meaning it's edible. (Those sold at farmer's markets usually are, but it never hurts to ask.)
From lavender to chamomile to borage, here are recipes and ideas to get started with edible flowers:
You can also try it in biscuits and scones. Make a lavender-scented sugar and sprinkle it over French toast or roll snickerdoodles in it. Infuse cream or milk for a floral-y whipped cream, panna cotta, caramel sauce or crème brûlée. You can also add lavender to simple syrup and use it in cocktails or lemonade.
These naturally blue (however they can also be white, pink, or purple) flowers are stunners. And they taste like honey, too. Float them atop cocktails and use them to adorn everything from cakes to cupcakes to salads to soup.
Rose water also adds floral flavor to lassis, cookies, and gin fizz, for starters. Rose petals can be used in a simple syrup for cocktails, to decorate cookies or cupcakes, and made into jam like our contributor Emiko Davies does.
Use chamomile flowers to make your own herbal tea, which can then be used in a hot toddy, to cook rice, and to poach fruit like pears. It may take a little more time, but infusing alcohol with chamomile makes for one heck of a cocktail.
Use hibiscus flowers to make ice cream, sorbet, or a granita. Make a simple syrup and use that in margaritas, cocktails, spritzers, or to sweeten ice pops. For more ideas, this Hotline question is here to help.
How do you use edible flowers? Tell us in the comments below!
Pure Leaf Tea House Collection is a trio of organic iced teas that each sport a fruit or herb companion, like organic Black Tea with a hint of Honeysuckle and Sicilian Lemon. See all three flavors here.