It's National Cat Day! Today is a day that I celebrate every year because of my adoration and affinity for cats. As long as I can remember, cats have always been my spirit animal. There is just something about the way cats carry themselves and respect true love and affection. It's as though cats secretly know they are royalty. When I was about 5-6 years old, I recall adopting my first pet cat named 'Beautiful.' She wasn't officially adopted, but she was a stray cat that our family took in and cherished.
As a child growing up in California I quickly adapted and admired everything Sanrio. The Japanese created, colorful cartoon characters became my childhood obsession, especially Hello Kitty. As an adolescent, this magical kitty was so bright and cheery I was automatically drawn to her. She just seemed to be so happy and pleasant to be around. I continued to cherish cats and Hello Kitty throughout my childhood and into adulthood.
Hello Kitty has always been "that girl." Now as a grown woman I feel like I can relate to Hello Kitty even more. Hello Kitty represents finding simple happiness in our current chaotic world.
This year I decided to celebrate National Cat Day by not only enjoying time with my adorable cat, Butterscotch, but also celebrating the world treasure that is Hello Kitty. I thought the perfect recipe would be some pretty purple ube/potato cookies decorated fabulously. I decided to add even more pizzazz by using some Kaleidoscope Sprinkles to decorate the cookies as well.
The cookies turned out super cute, delicious and perfect for enjoying all that is today.
You can find the complete recipe and step by step video below.
Hello Kitty Cookies:
1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. lemon zest
12 tbsp. (¾ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup pureed ube potato
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
4 cups confections sugar
3 tbsp. meringue powder
2 tbsp. lemon juice
7-8 tbsp. water
Food coloring gel for royal icing, for decorating (optional)
Kaleidoscope Sprinkles or sprinkles of your choice, for decorating (optional)
To make cookies:
In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and lemon zest. Set flour mixture aside.
In a large separate bowl, using either hand or stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. Cream butter and sugar together until butter is pale yellow and doubled in size. Add ube potato. Add eggs one at a time. Mix until smooth. Add vanilla extract. Add half of flour mixture to cream mixture and stir until incorporated. Add second half of flour mixture. (Add purple food gel for more color, optional). Stir until incorporated. Add white chocolate chips to batter. Slowly fold in until combined.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and place cookie dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight.
Once ready to bake cookies, remove dough from refrigerator to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick mat. Using rolling pin, roll out cookie dough onto a heavily floured surface (dough is very wet dough) until ½" thick. Use floured cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Place cut out cookie dough onto sheet 1.5-2" apart. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes until cookies are slightly golden and firm to touch. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool completely to room temperature.
*If not, using cookie cutter then no need to roll out cookie dough. Use cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, place cookie dough onto sheets about 1.5-2 inches apart. Bake for same amount of time.
While cookies are baking, make royal icing for decorating cookies later.
To make icing:
In a large bowl, add confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder, lemon juice and 6 tablespoons of water. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat icing ingredients together on high speed for approximately 2 minutes. When lifting the whisk/paddle up off the icing, the icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 5-10 seconds for proper consistency. Set aside until ready to decorate.
Once cookies are completely cooled. Decorate cookies by frosting them with royal icing and Kaleidoscope Sprinkles.
Devour and enjoy!!