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I have a confession.  Sugar cookies might be my biggest weakness of all time.  And trust me, these ones are reeeeally, really good.  Seriously.  I had so much fun participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and this being my first year I had no idea what to expect.  I mean I’ll take any excuse to do some baking, especially since I just got a new Kitchen-Aid mixer this year!  Lemme tell you, these bloggers go ALL out when it comes to making cookies and I had fun sampling a few for myself!  But we’ll get into that a little later.
For my cookies, I chose to make my favorite sugar cookie recipe by Bake at 350.  I just love the subtle hints of almond and vanilla you can taste as well as their chewiness rather than a stiff crunchy sugar cookie.  These are so simple to whip up and, sorry friends, I decided not to skimp on the butter and sugar, I mean it is Christmas after all!  I also wanted to make sure my recipients really enjoyed these so I did my best to deliver.  I chose not to use royal icing like I’ve done in the past when making cookies only because I had so many to make, but royal icing sure is pretty!  This time I went with vanilla flavored candy discs that I melted and poured into pastry bags.  Mmm it tasted just like white chocolate!
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Then once my cookies were dry, I packaged them up and sent them out to three lovely bloggers so that they could enjoy them.  So who did I get to send these to??  Well I’m so glad you asked.
Heather from Dr. Hbar’s Adventures in Food
Jessie from Body and Soul Food
Melissa from I Was Born to Cook
Hope you enjoyed your cookies ladies!  Now onto this yummy recipe and make sure to check out what cookies they made!
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Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies

Recipe adapted from Bake at 350

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
  • Wilton's white candy melts
  • White sparkling sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. meringue powder
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and set aside. Cream the sugar and butter in your stand or hand held mixer then add the egg and extracts. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, especially the bottom.
  3. Knead dough together with hands as it will be crumbly and prepare for rolling. Roll dough onto floured surface and cut into your desired shapes. Place cookies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and freeze for about 5 minutes. Bake at 350 for about 10 to 12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to cooling rack.
  4. Using Wilton's white candy melts, melt candy in intervals of 30 seconds (mixing between each interval) until melted and pour into a pastry bag with a 2 inch tip. Create a snowflake design on each cookie and set aside to dry. Pour about a cup of water into a dish and mix in meringue powder. Using a paintbrush, paint water mixture onto cookie where you want sprinkles to stick. Pour on sprinkles and shake off excess. Enjoy!
http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2011/12/vanilla-almond-sugar-cookies.html

My apologies for not making the most healthy cookie, but sometimes it’s ok to indulge.  {Least that’s what I tell myself…}  Or if you’re feeling a little too guilty, package them up and send them out to your friends to avoid all the calories.  Trust me, I’m sure they won’t mind.
So as part of the cookie exchange, I not only send my cookies out to three other bloggers, but three bloggers sent out cookies to me!!  Pretty sweet deal, huh?  I love receiving packages in the mail and I must admit these cookies did not last long.  They were delicious and so cute!
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See??
The chocolate chip cookies were from Julie and they were seriously the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had!!  The adorable little candy cane cookies were from Diane.  They had hints of peppermint and were decorated with pretty sparkles.  She even had mini candy canes dispersed in the container for me, so festive!  Last but not least, the yummy thumbprint cookies were from Melissa and had an amazing strawberry filling that was delicious!
Make to check out all the other delicious cookie recipes included in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite just in time for the holidays!  LOVE this time of year!
PS…I may or may not have purchased the Justin Bieber Christmas CD this weekend.
Don’t judge.
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