May 4, 2010

Cherry Blossom Cookies


Went to Washington, D.C. last month on a family vacation, right at the height of cherry blossom season.  I was excited because I'd heard so much about how gorgeous the trees surrounding the Tidal Basin were when in full bloom.  Just my luck all the trees, save for one, had  shed their blossoms three days before I arrived in town.  Darn!  But hope was not lost; there were  plenty of cherry blossom trees found throughout town that still had beautiful blooms on them.  

While watching the annual parade on Constitution Avenue I spotted a little kid eating a blossom shaped cookie.  Being the avid baker that I am, of course I became obsessed with trying to find it.  I scoured museums and gift shops in search of that cookie, but with no luck.  Double darn!

 
When I got back to San Francisco that cookie was still top of mind.  I googled cherry blossom cookies and came upon some really cute ones by Katie of  Good Things Catered.   I love how her design almost resembles a fine china pattern.  Beautiful!  I hope she doesn't mind that I replicated her creation.  As the saying goes, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."


Basic Vanilla Sugar Cookie 

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla extract and combine until egg is completely incorporated.  Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until no trace of dry ingredients remain. 

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thickness and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.

Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown.


Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
water
gel food coloring

Mix powdered sugar and meringue powder in bowl of stand mixer until well combined.  Slowly add water and mix until you get the consistency you want*.  Add food coloring to achieve your desired color.

For outlining: consistency should be like glue paste
For flooding: add enough water so that the consistency is pretty runny

* Note: Royal Icing is extremely forgiving.  If you find you've added too much water and the icing is too runny, just add more powdered sugar.  Vice versa if your icing is too thick.
 

19 comments:

  1. They're beautiful! I think I prefer your flowers to Katie's - the star tip is lovely.

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  2. Gorgeous cookies!

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  3. Gorgeous! What's the icing made of including the cherry blossoms?

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  4. Ram: I used royal icing to decorate the cookies. Use a thinner consistency to coat the cookie and a thicker consistency for the piping. I've updated the post with a link to my cookie and icing recipes.

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  5. Cherry Blossoms are my absolute favorite! I missed seeing them in season this year. Bu these cookies make it all the better!

    bittersweetsugarandsarcasm.blogspot.com

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  6. Totally the sincerest form of flattery. What a compliment! I love your cookies!! They are beautiful! :)

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  7. Very nice inspiration from the Cherry Blossoms. These look excellent. Thanks for sharing you talent.

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  8. Ohhh, very pretty! These look very professional, love them!

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  9. Beautiful cookies!!!!! Imitation is TOTALLY the sincerest form of flattery.

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  10. These are beautiful! I love how feminine and elegant they are -- you did a great job!

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  11. Anonymous5/06/2010

    Beautiful miss Luu.

    Henning

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  12. Thanks little bro! :-)

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  13. yours are better! loved it!
    Netta

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  14. Anonymous5/09/2010

    When are you going pro Miss Luu ?
    Your baking looks amazing, and tastes wonderful. Are you bringing any treats up north soon?

    -AM-

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  15. Hey SF chick, hope you enjoyed the family holiday! Nice of you to send Mommy G 17th of May cookies, don't believe others' accounts of how many I ate before getting them to her... yummy... love the cherry blossom cookies though I did not eat any! Stor klem x

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  16. Muchas gracias senor BB!!! Wish I could join you all at Arcos this week. I need a tan! Catch some Spanish rays for me. xoxo, the Dr.

    AM: I wish I was visiting the North Pole this summer, but I find myself with almost 0 vacation days. But I haven't given up all hope..trying to see if I can work something out.

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  17. Anonymous5/14/2010

    They remind me of the beautiful far east! even in Seoul you can find them (the trees that is -cookies can only be found in SF or when they arrive by special delivery to me.

    LOL MG

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  18. hi! i hope i get a response from you... i was wondering.... if i could add a dab of dmelte white chocolate to the icing to add some depth to the flavor... how do you think that would go? i plan on making these cookies for a family soon. i have never made sugar cookies from scratch LOL but luckily i found a cake store close by that sells meringue powder.

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  19. Bonjour Moi!

    I've never added white chocolate to royal icing so I don't know if that will change the texture or consistency. My advice is to try adding a little chocolate to a portion of the icing as a test.

    Good luck making the cookies! The sugar cookie recipe I included is pretty fool proof and they taste great.

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