Flowers and Mother’s Day have always gone together like peanut butter and jelly. Back in the day, moms would get corsages to wear to church on the second Sunday in May to proudly proclaim their family’s appreciation and affection. And these days, sending a bouquet to your mother continues to be a classic way of honoring your mom on Mother’s Day. However, while I adore flowers, my mother-in-law has allergies and sending her a bouquet would be tantamount to giving her poison ivy as a gift. Also, her birthday is May 15th which means that it’s hard not to combine the celebrations.
So, how to acknowledge her special day without taking away from her birthday or causing her to have an asthma attack? Fortunately, she has a sweet tooth, so, over the years, I have been able to give her an assortment of floral-themed goodies for Mother’s Day. Last year, I found this colorful little box decorated with zinnias from Michaels. It inspired me to make her some zinnia decorated sugar cookies, and I thought that box itself would also make a lovely gift that she could display on her desk and use as storage for pens or something after consuming the cookies.
Zinnia Decorated Sugar Cookies
I used my favorite almond-flavored sugar cookie recipe (see below) and a scalloped cookie cutter to make the cookies. I decided that I would make two different color zinnias, both with orange centers. I made a batch of royal icing (recipe below) that I divided and tinted pink, purple, and orange with Wilton gel icing colors. After inserting couplers into three piping bags, I filled each bag with icing.
Using a #4 Wilton round tip, I piped side by side small teardrop-shaped loops around the outside edge of the cookie. I then continued making teardrops in concentric circles, slightly overlapping the bottom and between the previous row’s petals. I left a small open space at the center of the cookie. Using the same tip, I piped a series of orange dots in the open space to make the pistils of the zinnia.
After the icing dried and hardened completely, I put the cookies in clear cellophane bags and tied them at the top with orange and pink polka dot ribbon.
Whether you give your mom a beautiful bouquet of fresh-cut blossoms, a plant, or a boxful of “blooming cookies, flowers are a great way to tell your mother how much you love her and appreciate all she does.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, combine butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, beat using an electric mixer on high speed until pale yellow and fluffy.
- In another bowl, combine the flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt, gradually stir into the butter mixture until well blended.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 thickness.
- Cut using a scalloped cookie cutter.
- Place cookies 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
- Bake 4-6 minutes.
- Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely before icing.
Royal Icing Recipe
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
3 cups sifted confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons water
- Beat all ingredients at low speed for 1 minute and then 10 minutes on high until icing forms peaks.
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