Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

One of the greatest times of year to live in the Northern Virginia area just happens to be springtime, when the cherry blossoms start blooming in DC. If traffic was not such a complete bloody nightmare, I think almost everyone would make a weekend trip to view their glorious pink petals fluttering throughout the air. B.O.B. Bob and I have had the opportunity to view them from afar on our many excursions into DC to watch the Washington Capitals play, seeing as we were season ticket holders for the past several months. That chapter in our lives is now over as of yesterday, to my great relief. I’ve enjoyed these games more than I ever would have thought possible. I’ve loved the amazing view from our seats, come to recognize and have conversations with many of the Verizon Center employees, and usually enjoyed the company of the people directly surrounding us, but it will be nice to get our normal lives back. Rushing downtown and dealing with the crazy tourist traffic does not make for a peaceful and relaxing evening on some days, especially when B.O.B. Bob is driving; he is an absolute mad man when behind the wheel of a car, truck, or lawnmower.

Yesterday was the final game of the season, and even though it was nice to say our farewells, it wasn’t so nice to lose the game in a 0-0 shoot out. It was not the best way to end such a beautiful and fun spring day, which started out with an outside birthday party for our neighbor, who just happened to be celebrating her 40th birthday. Oops, did I just give away how old she is? How rude of me. Don’t worry; I’ll be joining her later this year, so at least she’ll have some company in the old lady department. For her party I made these pretty Cherry Blossoms, which are chocolate chip shortbread with cherry cream cheese frosting, topped off with a royal icing cherry blossom. I’ve wanted to make these flowers since my first class in the second course of my cake decorating class, and finally had the perfect excuse to sit down and do it. My arm may never be the same again, after two whole days of flower making. Making both these flowers and the flowers that I will use on my Easter cake later this week at the same time was not one of my wisest decisions.

I’m sad to inform you that with these beautiful cookies came a tragic loss; the life of my hand mixer suddenly came to an abrupt end while making the frosting to fill these little cuties. The poor thing had a good run, but just couldn’t keep up with me anymore. I’ll be spending the next week researching mixers online, so that I can find one that might be able to handle the abuse I will put it through. While I’m busy doing that, I suggest you get out there and enjoy the cherry blossoms before they’re gone, especially now that I have no need to travel into DC and be cursed with the added traffic you will inflict on the surrounding area.

P.S. It just has to be said…LET’S GO CAPS…next year will be our year!

Cherry Blossoms

Ingredients:

Cookie:

Cherry Blossoms

Frosting:

  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Cherries, Thawed
  • 1 (8-oz.) Package Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon Cherry Vodka
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 5 Cups Powdered Sugar

Cherry Blossoms

Directions:

Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla and cherry vodka, and then mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
  4. Sift the flour and salt together, and then slowly add a bit at a time to the wet ingredients on low speed, mixing until just incorporated.
  5. With a spatula, fold the mini chocolate chips into the cookie dough.
  6. Use a cookie scoop or a large tablespoon to measure the dough into evenly sized portions. Roll each portion of dough between the palms of your hand to create a ball shape. Place the cookie balls onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Make a well in each cookie using your thumb.
  7. Bake the cookies for 11 minutes.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven, and reinforce the well your thumb created with the back of a spoon. Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 4 minutes, before removing them to a cooling rack to finish completely cooling.

Cherry Blossoms

Frosting:

  1. Puree the cherries in a food processor for 15 seconds.
  2. Place the pureed cherries, butter, and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl; mix on low speed for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla, cherry vodka, and salt; mix on low speed for 1 minute.
  4. On low speed, and the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing until well incorporated.
  5. Once you have put all five cups of powdered sugar into the mixing bowl, mix on low speed for 4 minutes.

Cherry Blossoms

Assembling the Cookies:

  1. Place the frosting in a Disposable Decorating Bag with a Coupler, add a Wilton #21 Open Star Decorating Tip, and then pipe the frosting into the well of each cookie. If you do not have a decorating bag or tip, place the frosting in a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off, and then fill the well of each cookie with frosting.
  2. Adorn with royal icing cherry blossoms, pink sprinkles, or chocolate shavings.

Cherry Blossoms

Suggestions:

  • Make certain the cookies are completely cooled before attempting to fill them with the frosting.
  • Here is a video tutorial on how to make royal icing cherry blossom flowers. You can also purchase them pre-made at Etsy.
  • Refrigerate the cookies in an airtight container, and then allow them to come to room temperature before serving.
  • This recipe will make approximately five dozen cookies.

Cherry Blossoms

Improvements:

Cherry Blossoms

Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

-Colleen




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