Mother’s Day has a plethora of meanings to many people, for me it is about being a mother. I question from time to time if I was and am a productive mother, with mistakes and all. I find myself looking through old photographs and memories, hoping Sydney felt and still feels love and safety through her life. I remember Sydney’s third mother’s day, she asked me when was Children”s Day. To which my reply was everyday, of course I knew she meant a special day set aside for children.
From the moment she was first placed in my arms we had a special connection; of course every mother feels a bond. Sydney and I have something beyond mother and daughter, she has blessed with her faith and trust, as I have done the same. D.F. has expressed that there are times he feels envious of the ease and closeness Sydney and I possess; and sometimes he is in awe with a sense of pride.
Alright enough with all the emotions. Sydney wanted to bake a batch of fun sugar cookies in honor of Mother’s Day. After carefully going through our sugar cookie cutters we both grabbed the ladybugs. We even announced the chosen flavor: Vanilla bean-Cherry Blossom!
Vanilla Bean- Cherry Blossom Sugar Cookies:
• 200 grams/7.05 ounces butter, cool, but pliable
• 200 grams/ 1-cup super fine sugar
• 50 grams/ 1-egg
• 300 grams/ 2 1/2-cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2-teaspoons almond extract
• 1-vanilla bean
• Pinch of salt
Line four baking sheets with either a silpat or parchment paper.
Prepare your mise en place.
Sift together flour, salt, and set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, with a standing mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until just becoming creamy in texture. Add the egg and extracts and mix.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle attachment.
Sift the flour into the bowl of the standing mixer and mix, with a wooden spoon, until the dough just begins to form but is not sticky. (A standing mixer on stir maybe used, but I find the dough never spreads if I use my muscles and a wooden spoon).
Knead into a ball on a cool floured workspace, such as a marble board or counter top. Place the dough into a zip lock bag. Roll the dough into a square about ¼ inch thick. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 35 to 40 minutes.
Roll out the dough about 6.35 mm/ 1/4-inch thick. Dip the ladybug cookie cutters in some reserved flour, and cut out shapes. For even baking keep the large sized ladybugs on the same sheets and small sized ladybugs on a different sheet, and bake the sheets separately.
Place on prepared cookie sheets and refrigerate for 30 more minutes.
Preheat the oven to 165 degrees C/ 325 degrees F, and bake the cookies for about 7 to 9 minutes.
The cookies should look golden in color.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to completely cool.
While the cookies are cooling, map your design (outline the cookie cutters on parchment paper). Sketching how the finished cookie should look. This helps when decorating the cookies!
- 907 gram/ 2 pound icing sugar
- 150 grams / 10-Tablespoons egg white
- 1/2- vanilla extract
- 1/8- teaspoon cheery blossom extract
- 1/4-teaspoon egg white
- Food Color Paste
- Paper Cones/ Plastic Piping bags
- Decorative tubes
- Wooden dowels
- Art brushes
- Mini spatulas
- 59 grams water to add to the base as needed with 1/2 teaspoon
Sift the icing sugar fine in the bowl of a standing mixer, add the egg whites. Place the bowl on standing mixer(with the whisk attachment), and begin to whisk on low for 15 to 20 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add the flavoring and whisk for about 3 more minutes. Cover with a damp paper towel and plastic film.
Bead the black dots and add the line down the middle, for beading and line use a paper cone. If there happens to be left over black coloring, leave about 1/3 of lining consistency, add about 1/4-teaspoon cold water to the the icing until a beading consistency is achieved. The correct consistency should leave a round bead, no peaks, and remain put when piped, the bead should not spread. Allow to dry, and serve!
May Mother’s Day be filled with sweetness and happiness!
Happy Mother’s Day!