It’s flower season in Minnesota! I look forward to the month of May all winter because, when you live in Minnesota, everyone knows that May is the month when you can finally get out in your garden and start planting. I start thinking about what flowers I will plant sometime mid-April. That’s typically when I start to see my tulips and daffodils peeking through. But, alas, April is simply too early to plant anything in the ground when you live in Minnesota.
I have a close girlfriend who loves flower gardening too. Come mid-May, I take a day off from work and we go flower shopping. We spend the entire day exploring various garden stores and filling our vehicle full of beautiful blooming plants. Then the hard work of planting all of those lovely flowers begins. But, it’s worth it because we are rewarded all summer long with a dazzling display of color.
So what do flowers have to do with a recipe blog? Well, when I saw Blossom Cookies here in the Test Kitchens I couldn’t help but start making my list of plants I will be purchasing soon. Blossom Cookies resemble dogwood blossoms, thus the name. They are a simple cut-out cookie flavored with a touch of lemon and ginger. The “blossom” is cleverly created using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter and arranging four hearts together to make the flower. A touch of glaze and a small decoration completes the look. These darling cookies are perfect to serve at a bridal or baby shower, a tea party or any spring celebration. They would also make a lovely hostess gift or a special treat to bring to the office. Just think of all the smiles you would bring to your co-workers faces.
The cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour before rolling out. So, this is a great recipe to make in stages. Mix up the dough one day, then bake and frost them the next. You could even wait and frost them day three if you are short on time.
To make the dough, combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until well mixed.
Add the egg, lemon peel and vanilla. Continue beating until well mixed.
Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, ginger and salt. Beat until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until the dough is firm. This will take at least one hour but the dough can be refrigerated up to two days. Before I refrigerate the dough I like to divide the dough in half and form two balls.
I then flattened the balls to make “dough discs” and wrap them tightly in plastic food wrap. The dough is much easier to roll out from this form when it is cold and firm from refrigerating.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 375°F. Working with one “dough disc” at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness.
Cut with a ¾-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Or, if you have a flower shaped cookie cutter you could use it instead.
For each cookie, arrange four hearts with points together on an ungreased cookie sheet. The points and sides should overlap slightly. Sometimes pictures do a better job than words so here is a series of pictures to show how to form the flower cookies.
And here is an entire pan full of cookies ready for the oven.
Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the cookies are set. See how they spread out and the edges of the hearts soften to become flower petals. Clever idea isn’t it?
Once the cookies have cooled completely make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar, lemon juice and red food coloring in a small bowl. Mix well. Stir in the water, 1 teaspoonful at a time, until desired glazing consistency. The glaze should be somewhat runny.
Spread ¼ to ½ teaspoon of glaze on each cookie.
To create the yellow dots for the center of each flower stir together the powdered sugar, yellow food coloring and water in a small bowl. Using a toothpick, place a “dot” of yellow glaze in center of each cookie.
Let cookies set until the glaze is firm. It’s flower time!
Let me know when you plan to serve Blossom Cookies, and please come back to rate and review this recipe.
Check back in a few days when Amanda will be sharing a great idea for a quick weekday dinner.
Becky Wahlund is the Director of the Test Kitchens for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.