I want to draw out the season a bit more before committing myself to the Summer, so I decided to try to hold on to early Spring with some cherry blossom-themed recipes and DIYs.
First up: these adorable Sakura Sugar Cookies!
For this batch, I used a 30g packet I purchased from Nihon Ichiban. You can also find them on Amazon, but the price was more than double when I checked.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Sugar Cookies
- 1 packet (30 g) salt-pickled cherry blossoms (sakura), about 35 flowers
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using minced flowers in the dough)
- Sugar crystal sprinkles (optional)
(Optional) Prepare Blossoms to Mix In
- If you’d like to add minced flowers to the dough, separate out about a tablespoon. Leave the prettiest ones for decorating later!
2. Soak the tablespoon of cherry blossoms in a bowl of water for 15 minutes or so to help remove extra salt.
3. After soaking, gently press out water with paper towels. They don’t need to be dry; you just don’t want them sopping wet.
4. Mince (stems and all) and set aside.
Preparing the Dough
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Add in vanilla, egg and sour cream. Mix well.
- Combine flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add salt if not using minced flowers.
- Slowly add flour and baking soda mixture.
- (optional) After everything else is well-mixed, add in minced flowers.
- Chill for at least an hour – I usually leave it overnight.
Baking the Cookies
- Prepare flowers by soaking in a bowl of water for 15 minutes or so to remove much of the salt.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Either roll out 1/4″-1/3″ thick and cut out cookies OR form dough into log for slicing (what I did) and slice 1/4″ – 1/3″ thick.
- Lay out on non-greased cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room for them to spread some.
- Remove flowers from water and arrange on paper towel, taking care to position petals as best you can. Press gently with another paper towel to remove some of the moisture.
- Press flowers onto tops of cookies.
- (optional) Add clear sugar sprinkles, pressing gently into dough with fingers so they stay when baked.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the first hints of brown start showing at the base. You do not brown these cookies.
I use a soft sugar cookie recipe because that’s what I prefer; you could also use this same process with a crispier cookie, like a shortbread. If you want bits of flowers in the cookies, I recommend omitting salt since they will still have lingering salt even after soaking and they baked just fine without any extra for me. This made about 2 dozen fairly large cookies.