I may not be very much of a nature person but I am definitely a flower person through and through. The beauty of soon-to-bloom and blossoming flowers has always been a fascination of mine. That is why I love spring.
Hanami or the viewing of sakura bloom ranks highly on my things to do before I die. It is also my dream to be in Holland during spring time so I can pop by the Keukenhof garden and dance around the fields of brightly coloured tulips.
Since it’s not going to happen this year, not unless someone is so kind and generous to fly me there, I have to live my dreams through these cookies.
These cookies are simple vanilla cookies and they are iced with royal icing. As you can see, these cookies are my way of putting a bit of spring on my plate.
I don’t have a large collection of cookie cutters and had to make do with my lack of flower-shaped ones. I turned my apple cookie cutter upside down and voila, a tulip was before my eyes – with a bit of outlining and imagination. For the other cookies, I use a fluted round cookie cutter and a heart shape cookie cutter and played around with the colours and the patterns on the cookies.
The inspiration for these brush embroidery cookies came from Smidge. You can check out her post and short video detailing how to achieve this effect. The second method I use was feathering. I find feathering a very neat technique – great results with minimum effort.
I sure hope these colourful springtime cookies would bring you some joy, maybe some inspiration to bake your very own spring garden.
Recipe: Vanilla cookies
Makes 30 large cookies ( 3.5 inch in diameter)
These vanilla cookies are a dream to bake. They not only taste good, they are very easy to work with. The dough rolls out nicely and you can use your favourite cookie cutter on this one. If you have kids around, you can always get them involved in the rolling and cutting process.
440g caster sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
750g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1. Start by creaming butter with paddle attachment until soft and creamy. Add sugar and cream on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract and beat at medium speed for about 2 mins.
3. Add in flour and salt and fold until just incorporated.Try not to overwork the dough.
4. Flatten dough into a flat disc, cling wrap it and allow the dough chill in the fridge for about 1/2 hr.
5. Roll out the cookie dough to 3-4mm in thickness. I like to place the dough in between two parchment paper. Flour the parchment paper lightly.
6. Chill tray of rolled cookies for about 10 mins (or while you are preheating your oven) before baking at 180 deg for about 12-15 minutes. Bake until firm and edges lightly golden.
*Tip: You can replace vanilla extract with scrapped seeds from a vanilla bean for a more intense vanilla flavour. Also you can sprinkle some fleur de sel on top of these cookies just before baking for that extra dimension. I love vanilla cookies with fleur de sel.
Recipe: Royal icing
Enough to ice about 20 cookies
50g egg whites (use fresh eggs)
350g icing sugar, sifted
juice of 1/2 lemon
food colouring, I use wilton colour paste
1. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks.
2. Add icing sugar and whisk until glossy.
3. Add lemon juice and whisk for another minute.
4. Divide into different bowls for different colours. Adjust the consistency of the royal icing as necessary (add more egg whites/water) if it is too stiff. Add more icing sugar if it is unable to hold its form