Japan in known for the beautiful sakura, or cherry blossom flowers that bloom in spring. During this period, a lot of themed dishes highlighting these flowers come out. Join me in celebrating the season with sakura flower cookies, the recipe I’m sharing with you today!
I’ve featured a number of Japanese-inspired dishes in the site, but this is the first time that I will be working with this ingredient. If you’re curious, you should definitely give this a try! They’re absolutely delicious!
Cookies are the ultimate dessert staple in my household. My family generally eats healthy stuff and we’ve tried getting rid of so much junk food, but this is the dessert item that we consider as a regular treat or reward at home.
Things You Need
- Baking tray or baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Rolling pin
Ingredients of Sakura Flower Cookies
- Salted sakura flowers (20 flowers)
- All-purpose flour, 1 cup
- Unsalted butter, 6.5 tbsp, softened at room temperature
- Powdered/icing sugar, 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp
- Egg yolk (medium-sized), 1 yolk
- Vanilla extract (optional), 1/4 tsp
- Sakura leaf powder or sakura essence, 1/8 tsp (optional)
– Sakura leaf powder or sakura essence will enhance the sakura fragrance of your cookies, but if you don’t have it on hand, the cookie flavor is still good.
– I recommend unsalted butter for the superior smell and taste of your cookies, but if you are on a diet or you prefer the taste of margarine, it still works well.
– You don’t have powdered/icing sugar? Don’t worry, granulated sugar can substitute. For it to be completely dissolved, you can use a food processor to grind it first.
Step By Step Directions
1. Put the salted sakura flowers in a bowl, cover with enough water, then leave them for at least 30 minutes. This step will help reduce the saltiness from the sakura flower because they are quite salty. After 30 minutes, take the sakura flowers out and drain to discard the water then pat the sakura dry with a kitchen towel.
2. Place the unsalted butter in a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer or a food processor at the lowest speed, beat butter for 30 – 45 seconds until soft then add powder sugar to the butter then beat until incorporated.
3. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract to the butter mixture, beat at the lowest speed to combine.
4. Divide the flour into two portions then sift each one in turn into the mixture, whisk until well blended. Gently knead with your hand until all the ingredients are consistent.
Note: If you’re using sakura essence, add it to the egg yolk and vanilla extract from step 3.
If you use sakura leaf powder, mix it with the flour then whisk to combine before adding to the mixture <step 4>)
5. Place the dough into a sheet of parchment paper, and cover with another one to prevent from sticking. Flatten the dough by gently pressing by your hands. The dough may be still sticky at this point, so I suggest that you leave it in the fridge for about 15 – 20 minutes before rolling and cutting.
6. After 15-20 minutes, the dough would get firmer. Roll it to approximately 1 ½ inch thickness. Then use any cookie cutter shapes you prefer to cut the dough into small cutouts.
7. After cutting, gently transfer the cutouts to the baking sheet which is lined with parchment.
* Pro Tips:
– Cover your dough with baking paper or sprinkle some plain flour when rolling to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin.
– Place the whole parchment paper sheet in the fridge for 10 minutes to be set before transferring to the tray; this will help the cutouts not be deformed when transferred to the baking sheet.
– Or you can directly roll and cut the dough on the baking paper. Then place the whole sheet in the fridge for 5 minutes to be set. Remove the leftovers then transfer the sheet of baking paper onto the baking tray.
9. Preheat the oven to 392°F for about 10 minutes before baking <both top and bottom heat>.
10. Take the cookies out of the fridge and place the sakura flowers onto the cookies. Lightly press to stick the flowers to the cookies.
11. Lower the oven to 338°F. Put the baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake for 16 – 18 minutes until golden brown. After 12 – 14 minutes, rotate the baking tray so that the cookies are evenly baked. I highly suggest that you should stay with your cookies while they ‘re baking since cookies get burning quickly.
12. Take the baking tray out and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Store in sealed container for 1-2 weeks. These cookies are softer than other kinds of cookies. If you prefer them crunchier, you can bake them at 230°F for another 5-10 minutes.
How did your cookies turn out? The process of making them may get tricky sometimes, but don’t worry if you don’t get perfect results on your first try—baking is trial and error, so try again if you’re not satisfied with your first batch.
These cookies were a hit when I served it to my kids! Aside from the attractive colors, they also have an interesting, refreshing taste that most of us aren’t used to. This is definitely a dessert item that I would make over and over again.
Thank you for reading! If you have comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave them below. I love it when my readers share their stories and feedback!