1cupcake flour(If you use a measuring cup, follow this method: fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off. Otherwise, your flour ends up with more than 120 g.)
⅛tspkosher or sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
½cupconfectioners’ sugar/powdered sugar
1large egg yolk(0.5 oz, 15 g)
white sparkling sugar(Sparking sugar has large grain so that it won't melt and disappear compared to granulated sugar and gives a nice look and crunch.)
Cut the unsalted butter into smaller pieces (so that they will soften faster). It’s important to soften the butter before we start.
Separate salt pickled cherry blossoms into 2 groups: good flowers for decoration on the cookies, and 1 Tbsp of damaged flowers for blending in the cookie dough.
To remove saltiness, soak each group of flowers in water (separately) for at least 30 minutes.
Squeeze water out from 1 Tbsp of damaged flowers and pat dry with a paper towel.
Then mince the flowers and set aside.
Pick up the good flowers from the water, shape the petals nicely, and place the each flower on paper towel. Cover with another sheet of paper towel and gently pat dry. Set aside.
Sift the cake flour and add the salt in the same bowl.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
Add the ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar and blend until soft and light. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
Add the egg yolk and mix well until combined.
Gradually add 1 cup cake flour (120 g) and blend until the dough is smooth.
Add minced cherry blossoms and blend well.
Because the dough will be still too soft to roll into a log shape, cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or take out the dough from the bowl and wrap with plastic wrap) and keep in the fridge for 1 hour.
Shape the dough into a cylinder, about 1.5 inches (4 cm) diameter.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours. Optional; you can place the dough on a bed of rice while chilling. It’ll help keep the dough in nice cylindrical shape, so your cookie slices won’t be flat on one side.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC). Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking liner.
Remove the plastic wrap, and then wrap around the dough with a damp paper towel so that the dough will be slightly wet. Or of course, you can use traditional method and brush egg wash on the dough (but damp paper towel method works every time for me).
In a tray that fits the cookie dough, sprinkle the white sparkling sugar. Remove the damp paper towel and roll the cookie log on the sparkling sugar.
With a sharp knife, slice the dough into ⅓ inches (7 mm)-thick rounds. Place them on the baking sheet, leaving about 1” (2.5 cm) between rounds.
Gently press down the reserved cherry blossom and decorate on the cookie rounds. Tip: If the cookies are left out too long, place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes until the cookies are chilled (or the freezer for a short time); otherwise, the butter melts too quickly in the oven and the cookies will be flat.
Bake the cookies at 350ºF (170ºC) for about 15 minutes, or until the edge of the cookies start to get golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes; then carefully transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
You can keep the cookies in an airtight container and store at a cool place for at least 4 days. You can also freeze the unbaked logs of dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 months. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before cutting and baking. Do not let the dough fully defrost.
Cake Flour: A properly measured cup of cake flour weighs 4.23 oz (120 g). The weight for 1 cup flour varies on how you measure it. When you measure flour by volume, please follow the methods below. I’ve tested this method many times, and if you do it properly, 1 cup is VERY close to 120 g each time.
Fluff up the flour several times with a spoon.
Using the spoon, sprinkle the flour into your dry measuring cup (the one that measures exactly a cup at the top).