Cherry-Blossom Spritz

Pink cherry-blossom shaped cookies on a rectangular teal serving dish. There are nine cookies arranged like cherry blossoms on a branch with 6 (broken-off) cookie petals

I made these cookies to send in care packages to some of our friends, including my friend who always requests birthday cake challenges. (This year, it was meant to be this cheesecake adventure.)

Skip to recipe.

Close up of a cherry-blossom cookie on a teal plate

Robin and I went to do a two-person social-distancing “hanami” (well, a walk-through of the blossoms, not a picnic) in Kobe Terrace Park, which is just gorgeous when the cherry blossoms are blooming. I collected some fallen blossoms and a fallen sprig of blossoms (the flowers in the upper left). (Just so we’re clear, if you are doing a cherry-blossom viewing: don’t climb the trees; don’t shake them; do not touch!)

Links

Support for Trans Folks

Stay safe out there, folks. I’ll be sharing some (mostly humorous) media suggestions that are providing mental health breaks for me over on Patreon this week.

Recipe Notes

To make these actually cherry-blossom flavored, you can buy cherry-blossom extract (sakura essensu, さくらエッセンス). I used rose water and hibiscus sugar (my hibiscus sugar is Kitchen Imp brand, but you can also make hibiscus sugar at home), because that’s what I had on hand.

If you’re using cherry-blossom essence, I’d recommend using either sakura sugar (sakura powder in sugar or preserved cherry blossoms rubbed into sugar) or unflavored pink sanding sugar instead of hibiscus sugar. I don’t recommend using sakura salt, like you would for tempura. You need a lot of the salt to get the sakura flavor to come through, more than would complement the sweetness of the cookie.

Pink cherry-blossom shaped cookies on a rectangular teal serving dish. There are nine cookies arranged like cherry blossoms on a branch with 6 (broken-off) cookie petals

Cherry-Blossom Spritz

Yields: ~100 cookies
Time: Total: ~2 hours
Making the dough: 20 minutes
Prep work (pressing cookies and decorating): 35 minutes
Cooking: 50-60 minutes (for 5 cookie sheets)

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups (345 g / 3 sticks / 12 oz ) butter, at room temperature (should be soft but not melted)
  • 1 cup (200 g / 7 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rose water extract
  • 3.5 cups (440 g / 15.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP (30 mL) milk
  • Pink or red food coloring (I used gel, but liquid will work too)
  • Pink sanding sugar, hibiscus sugar, or sakura sugar

Equipment

  • Cookie press with the five-petal flower ring (I use the Wilton Cookie Max)
  • Stand mixer (recommended) or hand mixer
  • 3-4 aluminum cookie sheets (not non-stick)
  • 1 large bowl, if using a hand mixer
  • Silicon spatula
  • 2-3 cookie racks

Procedure

  1. Place cookie sheets in the refrigerator to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF/175ºC.
  3. In bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the stand-mixer bowl (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer), cream butter and sugar together on medium for 7 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicon spatula. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts, then beat on medium for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Remove bowl from stand mixer (or set aside the hand mixer). Stir in the milk and flour gradually with a spoon so as not to overdevelop the gluten, until the dough is combined and no dry flour remains.
  7. Fill the cookie press canister (I use a spoon for this), and attach the five-petaled flower disk. On an un-greased chilled cookie sheet (no non-stick sprays, no parchment paper!), press out the cookies, about 1-inch apart. One click of the plunger is enough, but it sometimes takes a couple tries to get the first one out after filling the canister.
  8. Sprinkle with hibiscus sugar/pink sugar.
  9. Bake 10-12 minutes or just till the edges start to turn light golden brown. Cool for ~2-5 minutes by setting the cookie sheet on a cooling rack. Gently remove from sheet; cool completely. When the sheet is cool enough, clean it and return it to the fridge before pressing more cookies on it.
  10. If you break some of the cookies, save the “petals” for arranging on a platter.
  11. Store cookies in an air-tight container (good for about 10 days).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.