For this years Easter treat I decided to forgo the traditional eggs and bunnies and went with these super cute Spring Flower Sandwich Cookies filled with a delightfully tart-yet-sweet Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting.
The dough for these cookies is a traditional spritz cookie dough that is usually forced thru a cookie press to create little shapes. For these spring flowers I filled a fabric (reusable) piping bag with some of the dough and piped them out using a Wilton 1M tip.
I originally saw this idea on a terrific baking site called I Am Baker. She piped out beautiful rosettes but it was really hard to pipe out those rosettes so I decided to go for these "spring flower" shapes instead! To get a spring flower shape, hold the piping bag perpendicular to your baking sheet and basically squeeze down until you get the desired shape you are looking for! That's it!
I kept my piped dough flowers at a 2" diameter so that they would bake evenly. To keep each flower the same size I made a template of six 2" circles and placed the template under my silpat on top of my baking sheet. I left the template under the silpat while baking and didn't have any problems. After the cookies cooled I piped a little Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting using an Ateco #867 tip on to one cookie then sandwiched it was another. Here is how you can make your own.
You can find the entire recipe for the cookies here.
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and lining a baking sheet
with a silpat. If you are using a template go ahead and place it under
the silpat. Place baking sheet into refrigerator to chill.
Cookies: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until creamy then beat in the egg and the extract (I used 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract & 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract). Beat in the flour mixture until a dough starts to form. Add few drops of pink food coloring to ting the dough a nice deep pink color.
Transfer around 1/2 cup of dough to a reusable piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M closed star tip. I used a reusable fabric piping bag because I was afraid that a plastic piping bag might burst because of the thickness of the dough. Holding the bag perpendicular to the chilled baking sheet, squeeze down to get a "ruffled petal" look.
Repeat until you have six 2" flowers piped onto the baking sheet. You can sprinkle the cookies with a little pink sanding sugar for a little extra sparkle. Bake for 10 minutes or until very slightly golden on the edges. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely before filling. Tip: Try to cool your baking sheet in the fridge in between batches to keep the cookies from spreading too much.
1 teaspoon vanilla bean crush extract or vanilla bean paste
Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the sugar, and mix on the lowest speed to combine. Add the vanilla bean crush extract and mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until completely smooth. The frosting can be used at this point or refrigerated for up to 3 days. If it has been refrigerated, let it sit at room temperature until just cool to the touch, then transfer to a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth.
Place frosting into a piping bag fitted with an Ateco #867 tip and pipe a small mound in the center of one cookie and sandwich it carefully with another cookie. Keep filled cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.