Cherry Blossom Tea Cookies, #CreativeCookieExchange

“The spring breeze wearing cherry blossom petals,”1 is a breathtaking sight in Japan. Seeing the frail flowers fall to the ground is a tug on the heart. The blossoms of the cherry tree are exquisite but short-lived like the time of mere mortals on planet earth. To ensure precious life is enjoyed, many a picnic with loved ones take place under the cherry blossoms in the months of March and April. (Typically cherry blossom season. The southern regions of Japan see cherry blossoms in March. As the southern blossoms fade, cherry trees begin to bloom in the Northern Japan.) Picnic baskets are often brimming with veggie sandwiches, traditional Japanese sweets and beer! Thanks to the latter, much singing is also heard in the groves of Japanese cherry blossoms.

(1Saigyō, Japanese samurai turned Buddhist monk poet, 1118-1190)

Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Cookies

Given the Japanese reverence for cherry blossoms, it is no surprise that sakura (cherry blossom in Japanese) is the most popular subject in J-Pop and J-Rock songs. Apparently no one tires of the theme, as sakura songs consistently appear at the top of the charts.

After seventeen plus years of living in Tokyo, the influence of sakura cherry blossoms are still evident in my life. Or shall I say the reverence for the fleeting moment we appear on this earthly stage is seared into my psyche….Even in my youth, I was aware that springtime beauty fades and falls to winter frost. So, I do my best to surround myself with company and foods that bring me joy. On my to-do list for 2015 is to increase the activities (like bike-riding by the beach) which also whisper happiness in my heart. How about you? What 3 ways can you gift yourself with greater joy in 2015?

Delicate, delicious cookies which disappear quickly!

While you contemplate an answer, here’s a recipe for Cherry Blossom Tea Cookies. Happily the crisp cookies carry strong notes of cherry blossoms. I used Japanese tea company, Lupicia’s sakurambo tea. (I’ve not received any free product or money for endorsing Lupicia. But I do find their teas of the finest quality.)  I brushed the cherry blossom tea cookie petals with a powdered sugar and Kirschwasser (cherry water in German) liquor glaze. The sugary crunch and the surprise pink pepper crunch tucked into the tea make for a lovely and light cookie…Will you savor the cookie or let it disappear quickly?

Cherry Blossom Tea Cookies

Craving something with a zap of sweet cherry and a zing of savory? The Ninja Baker’s cherry blossom cookies are a pretty-in-pink pick-me-up from a 4 o’clock slump!

The cherry blossom shapes were created via my cookie press purchased at Williams-Sonoma. Softer dough seems to work best in the cookie press. However, the cherry blossom cookies will spread so do place them in the freezer overnight.

Adapted from a lemon citrus tea cookie recipe introduced by Carla Hall on ABC TV’s The Chew.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sakurambo cherry blossom tea grounds
  • (contents of 4 tea bags, crushed with a rolling pin)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cherry extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Drops of pink food coloring
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kirschwasser (cherry) liquor

Whisk together the flour, cherry blossom tea grounds in a bowl. Set aside.

With the paddle attachment of a kitchen stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (About 5 minutes.) Add the cherry and vanilla extracts. Squeeze in a few drops of pink food coloring.

Slowly beat in the flour, cherry blossom tea and salt mixture. Combine well. Divide the dough into two disks. Cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

While the dough is softening, whisk the powdered sugar, Kirschwasser and drops of pink food coloring together.

Fill a cookie press or roll out the dough to make cut out cookies.

Paint the cookies with Kirschwasser glaze. Place on parchment lined cookie sheets and freeze overnight.

Bake in a 325-degree oven for 16 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet half way through baking.

The theme this month is Drunken Cookies! Cookies made with booze and/or inspired by booze, we have them all! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:


Wishing you the beauty of unfading love.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



Follow on Bloglovin



Follow Ninja Baker @NinjaBaking's board Sweets on Pinterest.