Friday is Moo Moo Day. Time for Bonbon Cookies

Kitchen Aid mixer

Ok, so really, the correct term is Muumuu, and according to Wikipedia “The muumuu or muʻumuʻu is a loose dress of Hawaiian origin that hangs from the shoulder and is like a cross between a shirt and a robe. Like the aloha shirt, muumuu exports are often brilliantly colored with floral patterns of generic Polynesian motifs. Muumuus for local Hawaiian residents are more subdued in tone.”

girls dancing in traditional polynesian dresses
These aren’t muumuus but definitely give the feel for that brilliant colored polynesian motif.

What runs though your head on a Friday morning?

When I woke up Friday morning and saw the sun shining brightly and knowing it was going to get up into the 80s, I decided it was a moo-moo day. I bought a forest green one back in January. Basically a big rectangle of a tube kind of thing with armholes, a v-neck, and POCKETS! Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets. Then all I needed to do was slip on my shoes and I was ready for work and the heat of the day!

dairy cow
Not that kind of moo-moo!

Moo moos and my mother – an inspirational memory

When we were little and made some comment that implied my mother had extra free time (like when we may have asked her to take us bowling, or out to a movie, or even just whether she could come outside and play with us) her reply would be, “you must think I lie around all day in a moo-moo eating bonbons.” 

woman lying in bed
Not my mother!

She’d even mime eating bonbons sometimes when we’d ask my father to do something with us and he’d say, “go ask your mother, I’m doing something!”

Not that my mother didn’t do stuff with us. She did. All the time! Ask any of my friends from back then and they’ll recount stories of my mom camping out with us in the backyard, teaching us to play piano, helping us care for the two dozen rabbits, 4 guinea pigs, and even a sheep, plus a myriad of wild ducks. Encouraging us to dance in the rain (and even handing us a bottle of Ivory liquid so my brother and I could wash our hair in the drain spout). Showing us how to make dried apple head dolls, she really did find time for us.

Ready to dance!

Sunday afternoon concerts, I can still hear the applause

I distinctly remember putting on a concert for her one Sunday afternoon while my father read the newspaper in the background; my own composition, “A Tribute to a Thunderstorm.” The piece (which I’m certain I’d never play the same way more than once) involved quiet tinkles at the beginning simulating scattered raindrops, but quickly blew up into crashing chords and discords, for thunder, sharp little jabs at high notes creating lightning in my mind, and on and on it went for maybe a minute or two at which point it slowly became quieter and less cacophonous, and we were left with a few random plinks to stand in for raindrops dripping from trees. And she applauded for sure! She always encouraged creativity above all else!

Cooking gets the weekend started!

So yeah, moo moos and bonbons were the thought of the day yesterday. I was anxious for this long weekend to start, and wanted to feel the relaxation I was looking forward to. And I came up with a couple bonbon inspired recipes you’re going to love! Because, you know, I already have the muumuu so….

Lemon Cherry Bon Bon Cookies

Ingredients for cookies

  • ½ cup butter (yup a whole stick!)
  • ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 TB fat-free milk (its what we had in the house, but truthfully, if you’re choosing muumuus and bonbons, you’ve already started down another path!)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp lemon extract
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 fat pinch of salt
  • 24 maraschino cherries (the kind in liquid, usually sold as ice cream toppers)
a bowl of maraschino cherries
Life is just a bowl of cherries


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add milk, vanilla, lemon extract while continuing to mix. Scape the sides and bottom as needed.
  • Stir flour and salt together in a separate bowl, then add slowly to the butter/sugar mixture. Don’t add it all at once or you’ll have flour everywhere. 
  • Mix well. It should result in a nice soft dough. Don’t give up on it because at first it looks a bit crumbly but you do want a dough you can make a soft ball with.
  • Using a spoon or scoop, divide the dough up into 24 even balls.
  • One by one, flatten the balls in the palm of your hand and form them around an individual cherry. Make sure seams are sealed tightly and no cherry is showing through.
  • Place on a no-stick, ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes or so. My oven doesn’t cook as hot so it ended up being 25 minutes. Watch carefully once you hit 18 minutes. You just want them to be very lightly browned. 
  • Remove to wire racks to cool. 

Make the Glaze

Ingredients for cookie glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 TB melted butter
  • 2 TB maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (don’t use extract, it tastes too much like alcohol for this)


  • Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. I find that I end up with a bit of extra glaze. As an alternative to drizzling, you can always just dip each cookie into the glaze. 
4 bonbon cookies
Lemon Cherry Bonbon Cookies

And if you’re like me, 2 dozen cookies aren’t enough, so why not try another combination?

Cocoa Caramel Bonbon Cookies

Another alternative. Follow the instructions above but use:

Ingredients for cookies:

  • ½ cup butter 
  • ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 TB fat-free milk 
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
  • ¼ cup baking cocoa
  • 1 fat pinch of salt
  • 12 Werther’s soft caramels cut in half (as you cut them in half, drop them into confectioner’s sugar to coat so they don’t stick together when you set them aside.)
  • Extra confectioner’s sugar
chunks of caramel dusted with sugar
Lightly dusted caramel pieces

Follow the instructions above, but instead of cherries, place a piece of caramel in the flattened dough circle and carefully wrap the dough around it. It’s particularly important with the caramels to make sure each seam is tightly closed and the caramel is evenly covered. If not you’ll end up with some runaway caramel. I ended up with a few runaways, but they still taste amazing.

Caramels wrapped and ready for the oven

Ingredients for the glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 TB baking cocoa
  • 2 TB caramel syrup
  • 1 TB melted butter
  • 1 TB half-and-half

As before, combine all ingredients until smooth, then drizzle across the cookies. If your glaze is too thick to drizzle, add a small amount more of the half-and-half. Be careful though, it’s a slippery slope. Too watery and you’ll need to add more sugar. You get the idea!

a platter of bonbon cookies
24 cocoa caramel bonbon cookies!

My mother’s favorite treats were chocolate covered maraschino cherries and what she called, Bullseyes, which today are sold as Caramel Creams. I think both of these cookie recipes would have met with her approval.