Rinse the cherry blossoms and leaves, then soak in clean water for 1-2 hours. Dry thoroughly and mince.
Add ingredients marked with a 〇 to a small saucepan (preferably Teflon) and let stand for about 20 minutes. Mix in a small amount of food coloring until you've reached the desired color, then warm over low heat.
Stir the mixture constantly until you achieve the desired consistency. Take the mixture off the heat and mix in the cherry blossoms and leaves that you prepared in Step 1 and/or the liqueur. Now it's done.
For this batch, I used red yeast rice powder (nature's own food coloring). It transforms into a different color...
I bough the dried white sweet bean paste at Tomizawa shop. It's sooooo convenient.
"Wataboushi" (the headdress worn by the bride in a traditional Japanese wedding) (Recipe ID: 1027876).
For this, I just minced a cherry leaf and added it to a chunky red sweet bean paste. It takes about one leaf for every 50 g of bean paste.
I tried making this with twice the amount of cherry blossoms and no food coloring, and this is the color it came out as.
Cherry blossom cookies Recipe ID: 519104.
I used this to make my favorite sakura-mochi (cherry blossom rice cakes) Recipe ID: 1262624.
This spring, I made anko-dama (bean paste balls) Recipe ID: 1057442.
Story Behind this Recipe
All of a sudden, I thought "Couldn't I make this with things I already have in my pantry?"
If you add too much food coloring, the color will just look tacky, so watch over it. *The first picture looks slightly muted, but it's a much softer pastel color. Two leaves seem to be about right. You can also try using store-bought chunky red bean paste or smooth bean paste.