You know it’s finally spring when the cherry blossom trees are in bloom again on the campus and in Washington, D.C. The perfect way to celebrate warmer weather and the emerging flowers is to bake for the occasion. These cherry-flavored cookies that look like cherry blossom petals are designed to look and taste good. 

The best part about this recipe is that you only need five simple baking ingredients. For most fancy cookies or themed baking, you need food dye. In this recipe, the maraschino cherry juice acts as food coloring and extract, giving the cookies the pink color and cherry flavor. I also added in chopped maraschino cherries for texture, but if you aren’t one for fruit in your cookies, feel free to skip that step. They also take under an hour to prepare, so they’re the perfect treat if you’re in a rush or need to bake something for an event. 

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Feel free to double — or triple — this recipe if you are cooking for a larger group. This batch makes about 12 petal-shaped cookies, but the number might change depending on the size you want them to be. You can also roll them in sugar before baking or dust them with powdered sugar after to add a nice finishing touch. 

“Cherry” blossom cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 12 minutes | Total time: 32 minutes | Makes approx. 12 cookies  

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 stick (half cup) butter, softened
  • Half cup powdered sugar
  • Half a 10 ounce jar of maraschino cherries including liquid, cherries chopped
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract

To make the cookies, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prep your ingredients by separating half of a jar of cherries and chopping them, and removing the liquid from half the jar. If the butter isn’t already softened, place the stick of butter in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it. 
  3. Place butter in a standing mixer and whip until creamy. If you don’t have a standing mixer, you can also cream with a spoon in a large mixing bowl for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Slowly add the powdered sugar and whip until the mixture is fully combined and forms stiff peaks.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract and maraschino cherry liquid. Mix until combined (but be careful not to splash!)
  6. Slowly add in the flour,  a quarter cup at a time. In between additions, wipe down the sides of the standing mixer or bowl with a spatula to ensure that everything is being fully combined. 
  7. Fold in the chopped maraschino cherries using the spatula. The batter should be slightly pink with the small bits of shiny red cherries peeking through.
  8. Now is the fun part! If you have a flower-shaped cookie cutter, you can use it to shape your cookies. Otherwise, dip your hands in some flour and place a tablespoon of batter in your hands. Mold it into a heart shape. When it bakes, it will end up looking like a flower petal. 
  9. Place your cookies on a pan, 6-8 at a time, and bake in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes.
  10. Let your cookies cool for 20 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

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Before tasting these delicious and beautiful cookies, feel free to take them on a picnic near some real cherry blossoms and take a picture. They are perfect for impressing friends with your baking skills, serving as a dessert at a spring party or just making a batch for yourself.