How are you? Are you feeling a little more cheerful and joyous now that the Spring has been blooming away? Are there a lot of flowers over where you live? Because although one of the best things I love about Los Angeles where I live is that there is something blooming almost all year long, the winters are still kind of chilly and colorless, even down here…
But now, even when I feel down (and I do sometimes, just like any of us, don’t we?), the moment I come out of the house and walk up a street, I see all those beautiful flowers everywhere and… magically I find myself just so happy to be surrounded by this beauty! I feel blessed being able to see and smell all these blooms and I start thinking that all those things that are bothering me are the little bumps on the road and, since this road is so beautiful, I know that I’ll be OK. I smile and, reassured, walk on….
OK, enough soul-searching! It’s the Mother’s Day weekend and although I’ve recently posted a recipe for a Blackberry Mousse that I may still whip for myself for a breakfast this Sunday, a Mother’s Day can inspire me for something more fancy than that. And this week when I looked at all those flowers all around me I knew exactly what I was going to bake: the Flower Cookies!
Yes, but not just any Flower Cookies. the Healthy Flower Cookies, of course! I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never tried this recipe before, but I did develop it based on the usual sugar cookie recipes that you may find in any cook-book or on-line. Actually when I was first looking for a sugar cookie recipe, I was really impressed by how, contrary to their name, little sugar (compare to many other cookie kinds) the recipe called for. But then I’ve realized that the true reason why the sugar cookies are called the way they are isn’t because of what’s IN them. It’s because of what’s ON them (the pure-sugary icing that is). But they are so colorful, festive and pretty, aren’t they?
So, I decided that this is a challenge worth taking: I’ll rewrite the recipe so that it’s much healthier, less fat, less sugar and definitely all-natural since I am very much against all the food dies (unless they are completely natural which is obtainable these days, but it IS expensive, too). Besides, what I had in mind for my icing also helped me use only half the sugar that a usual recipe calls for, without compromising the texture of the icing (such as making it too runny and thin).
And so, here is the result of my hard work 🙂
Healthy, Low-Fat, Less Sugar, Whole Wheat and All-Natural Flower Sugar Cookies
- 1½ cups of white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp of cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp. of butter
- 2 tbsp. of non-fat cream cheese
- ⅓ cup of honey
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
For the Icing:
- 4 tsp of almond milk
- 3 tsp of honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup of freeze-dry mangoes (or apples)
- 1/4 cup of freeze-dry strawberries (or raspberries)
- 1/4 cup of freeze-dry blueberries
- 2-3 tsp of Matcha green tea powder
- 2 oz of dark chocolate
Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Separately whisk the egg with the butter and cream cheese. Add the honey and the vanilla extract. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until incorporated.
Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle some flour on your flower-shaped cookie cutters. Cut the flowers and the leaves by pressing the cookie cutters firmly into the dough. Try cutting the cookies as close to each other as possible. You will still have some scraps of the dough left on the board, though. When you are done cutting all the cookies, just put all the scraps together, press them into a ball, re-roll them again on the board, and repeat the whole process again until all the dough is used up.
Bake the cookies for about 9-10 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheet for a few minutes before placing them on the wire rack to cool completely before decorating them.
To make the icing first grind your freeze-dry fruit in the blender. (I to start with the lightest-colored dry fruit like mango or apples, continue with the reds such as strawberries, and end the process with the darkest, such as blueberries. This way I don’t have to clean the blender after each round of grinding:) ). Put the berries into separate bowls. Put the Matcha powder into a separate bowl as well.
Mix the powdered sugar with the milk. Add the honey and the vanilla and whisk until everything is incorporated. Split the sugar mixture between the bowls with your ground freeze-dry fruit and Matcha. Whisk each kind of frosting.
Spread the frosting over the cookies.
You can stop right there or, if you wish to spend a little extra time to contour your cookies, melt the dark chocolate and draw the contours, which makes the colors of your cookies really pop.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms and to their families!