Soft and fluffy pink cookies made with maraschino cherries and a kiss of rose.

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Click here for the full recipe and nutritional information!

Confession time: I hate baking. Hate it. Oh sure, I bake sometimes, like my lemon okara mini bundt cakes or my super-easy pumpkin pie. But I don’t like to. I get weirdly flustered when I’m baking, usually forget an ingredient (almost always, it’s the salt), and I don’t like how exact you have to be compared to cooking. I especially hate baking cookies. rolling or scooping dozens of individual cookies into reasonably uniform shapes is not something I excel at. I don’t have the skill. I don’t have the patience to acquire the skill.

However, sometimes a girl just needs a cookie. Especially if said cookie is fluffy and cake-like, with a slightly chewy bottom, and studded with tiny ruby-red maraschino cherry pieces and the faintest hint of rosewater. If you are currently sitting in a pool of your own drool, then let’s get bakin’!

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First off, the maraschino cherries. You can chop them by hand, but I’m going the easy route and putting my well-drained cup of cherries into my Magic Bullet and giving them a quick blitz.

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For the dough, we need two sticks of softened vegan butter. I’m using the melt buttery sticks, but Earth Balance also works, giving a slightly stiffer, less spreading dough. With an electric hand mixer, I beat this together with a cup of powdered sugar until fluffy.

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Halfway to Fluffytown

Next, add your cherries and a half a teaspoon of rosewater. Traditionally, this cookie is made with almond extract or even vanilla extract, but for me, the substitution of such a tiny amount of rosewater gives the cookies a subtle floral note that really hammers home the blossom aesthetic we’re going for (also, it’s incredibly reminiscent of my Cherry Blossom Lip Balm, available here until the end of the month!). By all means, stick tradition and use almond or vanilla, if you prefer.

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Now mix in 2¼ cups of flour, ¾ of a cup at a time. Your dough will be very soft (again, less so if using Earth Balance). Now you need a small dish of granulated sugar to coat the cookies. Roll them into approximately 1″ balls, roll in the sugar, and place about an inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. If using Earth Balance, your cookies will not spread as much as mine did, so if you’d like them to look more like mine, you may want to press them slightly flatter.

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Bake at 350ºF for about 10-14 minutes. Immediately after taking them out of the oven, press the chocolate into the top. Traditionally, these cookies have a Hershey’s Kiss pressed into them, but as that’s obviously not an option for us vegans, use your favorite vegan chocolate substitute. I’ve tried them with dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chunks, and the white chocolate chips you see here. Aesthetically, I prefer the white chocolate, but to be honest, you can’t really taste any of these options over the fruity-floral flavor of the cookies themselves.

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You can enjoy them warm (and if you’re anything like me, you will), but be sure to let the chocolate set before storing in an airtight container.

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Just look at that sparkly sugar on top! These cookies are seriously adorable and equally delicious. And if I can make these without screwing up (well, I did forget the salt again…), then even the most baking-phobic among you will get along just fine.

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Cherry blossoms on cherry blossoms on cherry blossoms!

I hope you give this one a try, and let me know in the comments what you think!

~M

Cherry Blossom Cookies | Printable Version

Makes 48 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients:

1 c vegan butter, softened
1 c powdered sugar
1 c drained maraschino cherries, finely chopped
½ t rosewater (or almond or vanilla extract)
¼ t salt
2 ¼ c all-purpose flour
Granulated sugar for coating
48 chocolate chips (white or dark)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream together butter and powdered sugar.
  3. Mix in cherries, rosewater, and salt.
  4. Mix in flour, ¾ c at a time, until fully incorporated.
  5. Roll dough into 1” balls, roll in granulated sugar, and place on an ungreased baking sheet about 1” apart.
  6. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until slightly golden brown on the bottom.
  7. Immediately after removing from the oven, press one chocolate chip into the center of each cookie. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

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