Celebrate Spring with Flower-Shaped Foods

by on January 11th, 2011
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Spring is a time of birth for many plants and animals. I love to open the windows and hear the birds’ excited chirping, smell the scent of freshly bloomed flowers, and feel a nice warm breeze from the South. Spring also brings some of my favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day to name a few. My girls and I love to bake special treats to celebrate the spring holidays. Here are two recipes that would delight for any spring holiday, including Earth Day.

The first spring flower recipe is a recipe for Sugar Cookies that I have adapted from Paula Deen. This recipe can be made ahead to bring to a St. Patrick’s Day party, Easter picnic, or decorated as a bouquet of flowers on Mother’s Day.

Spring Sugar Cookie Recipe
Bakes 3 Dozen Flower Cookies
Easy to Make Ahead, Refrigerate Dough for 2 hours or overnight

Ingredients:
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup butter (2 sticks) butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
Colored Sugars to represent the spring holiday being celebrated (Green Sugar for St. Patrick’s Day and Earth Day, purple and pastel colored sugars for Easter, red to decorate a plate of flower sugar cookies for your Mother on Mother’s Day, etc.)
Flower cookie cutter

Sift your confectioners’ sugar then cream together confectioners’ sugar and butter. Mix in egg, vanilla and almond extracts. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tarter; slow pour the dry ingredients into the creamed ingredients, mixing on low until combined. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets then roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness on floured surface, cut dough into flower shapes. Sprinkle with the desired colored sugar and bake for 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for two minutes then remove.

The next spring flower recipe was adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence and would be great for a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, Earth, Easter, or Mother’s Day picnic. The egg salad can be made in the morning and combined right before eating. It is easy, simple, and inexpensive to make especially when you have left over eggs from Easter.

Spring Flower Egg Sandwiches
Makes 8 spring flower sandwiches

Ingredients:
6 eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ lemon, juiced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
16 slices wheat or whole grain bread, toasted
Flower cookie cutter

Cook the eggs 10 minutes in a saucepan of simmering water to cover. Drain the eggs in cool water before peeling. Peel eggs, break them lightly with a fork and combine in a medium bowl with mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice. Pulse the mixture three times with an immersion blender. Toast bread and cut with flower cookie cutter into flower shapes. Place a spoonful of egg salad in the middle of one of the bread flower cut-outs then softly place the other bread flower cut-out on top to complete your spring flower egg sandwiches.

These two spring flower recipes are inexpensive and easy to make. If you are really running short on time or if you are looking for an easy, ready-made spring treat; pick up egg salad or chicken salad at your local deli along with wheat bread. Toast the bread, cut into flower shapes and assemble your sandwiches. The spring sugar cookies can be ready-made as well. Pick up premade sugar cookie dough and sprinkling sugars, cut into shapes, sprinkle with colored sugar, and bake. Spring is a wonderful season and these spring flower recipes are great ways to celebrate spring’s many holidays.

Photos by Esther Millette of Spring Flower Sugar Cookies and Spring Flower Egg Sandwiches

“More From This Contributor.”
http://voices.yahoo.com/family-date-night-under-10-11011092.html?cat=3
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/first-person-gourmet-meals-100-week-162600475.html
http://voices.yahoo.com/easter-memories-easter-lilies-10969690.html?cat=34


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