To make these, I adapted a traditional cherry blossom cookie recipe by leaving out the lemon zest and adding almond extract, plus food coloring and sprinkles to create a more festive look. When I took a batch to a cookie exchange party, everyone raved about them.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cherry or vanilla extract
- 5 to 10 drops red food coloring, optional
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup candied cherry halves
- Pink or red sprinkles, optional
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, milk, extracts and food coloring if desired. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
- Roll dough into 1-1/4-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. With floured kitchen scissors, snip the top of each ball in half, cutting three-fourths of the way through. Cut each half into thirds; carefully spread the wedges apart, forming flower petals.
- Place a cherry half in the center of each; top with sprinkles if desired. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool for 1-2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: about 3 dozen.
Originally published as Poinsettia Cookies in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2006, p59
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