Ever have a sugar cookie that you just have to have at least two or ten of? This is it! I get dozens of orders for these sweet little gems every year. They are rich, buttery and surprising light. They are of course full of ingredients that make the holidays worth baking for. The beautiful basics such as my favorite butter and real sugar. Now, I am no sugar cookie pro. I have all of the same struggles as anyone else would have but these things are very easy to make and they will knock the socks off of the friends and family who get the pleasure of enjoying them. If you try one recipe this year, this should be it. I'd love to hear you're feedback once you've made them. Enjoy!
The Cookie Ingredients
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (butter not margarine)
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cooking oil (vegetable oil)
2 teaspoons almond extract (must use almond for taste)
In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-low speed till smooth. Add powdered sugar and 1 cup of granulated sugar; beat on medium-high speed till fluffy. Add oil, eggs, and almond extract; beat just till combined. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating on medium speed just until combined. Cover; chill for 30 minutes or till needed.
To shape cookies, roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. (The dough will be soft.) Arrange balls on ungreased cookie sheets. With the bottom of a glass or a cookie stamp flatten the ball to about ¼ inch thick. I prefer a flat bottom glass dipped in sugar; it makes it easier and more uniformed.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or till the edges are just lightly browning. Cool on a wire rack; cool completely before attempting to frost. Makes 55 to 60 cookies from what I have written down from past batches.
The Scrumptious Almond Frosting
In a small mixing bowl beat ½ butter (again only real unsalted butter) with an electric mixer on medium speed till fluffy. Beat in ½ teaspoon of almond extract and ½ teaspoon of vanilla. Alternately add 2 ½ to 3 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of light cream or milk, beating until smooth and of spreading consistency. You can tint with a bit of food coloring.
NOTES AND SUGGESTIONS: I get rave reviews on these cookies and I also adjust them for different occasions. I do the basic recipe for Christmas and break two candy canes in a Ziploc bag into small pieces and sprinkle it on each cookie. You can also poke a hole through the top of the cookie with a straw to create a ribbon hole to hang them from the Christmas tree. I change the frosting extract to lemon with a bit of zest for summer. If you need a shaped cookie just roll it out in small batches and dust your surface with powdered sugar instead of flour on a surface such as a Silpat. Once you make these, you will be hooked. You almost can’t mess them up! You can use royal icing to decorate but the frosting recipe listed is amazing. Oh, and the cute shimmer you see on mine? Disco dust! You can order it online or if you live in Fresno head over to the amazing Creative Cakes and More Shop.
Cherry Peach Crostata
What is a crostata you ask? It's nothing fancy, just a pie without a pan and it's delicious! I make these when I have extra fruit around or vegetables with a little change to a couple of ingredients in the dough. You can make several batches of the dough and freeze them. This makes it easy to whip one up any time you want. I'll add a picture below of a little variation using a jar rather than the traditional way.
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
This is a very simple recipe that my mom Carla used to make for our family growing up and so did many other moms. We would just stand over the kitchen waiting for it to be done only to be told every time that it had to cool off. We'd sulk off or mumble about how we didn't see why it made any darn difference since. I don't ever remember ever having leftovers in the house! I have also been making this since I became a wife and mom on days when I want to show my family some love. They love this dish, mostly rushing through dinner making sure to save room for their banana pudding. This is easy to make, only takes about twenty minutes or so to make and will be a staple in your recipe book the first time you make it. Don't let that meringue make you nervous, it's so easy.
Chocolate, stout, baileys and sprinkles. What's not to love? This recipe was the hit of our St. Patrick's Day celebration this year. Yes, the guys loved the idea of a booze cupcake but they were also delicious and devoured quickly. I adapted my cupcake recipe from here, one of the best sites I know of if you are a cake addict. She got the recipe from here. The recipes are all about a large community of baker's who have a passion for food and recipes that we have found to work and we share it with gusto! We have some of our own originals but we also know what works and give credit where it's due. Now onto this recipe!
I start with a good chocolate stout instead of Guinness, this one is outstanding for recipes and as an ice cold sippy.
Frost, decorate, devour!