Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies

_DSC7200I made the mistake of thinking my underachieving blender/food processor could handle making almond butter. That thing has been the bane of my existence for quite some time. It’s supposed to be this super efficient part-blender, part food processor hybrid, but really it just stinks at both things.

When I tried to make almond butter, it came out more like cement because the food processor didn’t have the power to grind those nuts. Shocker. So, not only was I almond butterless, but I had made a batch of cookies specifically for spreading the almond butter on that would now have to go naked.

It’s funny to think I made those Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies solely for the purpose of delivering almond butter to my mouth, thinking they’d be pretty bland, only to find that the cookies were the star of the show. One bite of those babies, and I couldn’t care less that the almond butter had failed. I had a whole new cookie in my life, and it tasted like heaven._DSC7186

These Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies are precisely what you’d get if a sugar cookie and the brown-sugary base of a chocolate chip cookie had a baby. This sweet offspring got the best genes from both parents.

The flavor takes that wonderful deep and buttery brown sugar and combines it with the sweet almond and warm vanilla you know and love in a classic sugar cookie. It’s simple but so delicious. There are no chunks of chocolate or mounds frosting needed here; the cookies’ sweet flavors are all you need.

Plus, the texture of these cookies is sublime. They’re crisp just around the very edges, then super soft, thick, and chewy in the center, straight from my cookie dreams.

And yes, I dream of cookies.

These beautiful brown sugar-laced cookies will quickly become a must-make classic for you. They’re not overdressed or decked out; they’re just perfect.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. If you don’t chill the dough, you’ll have thin, flat cookies.
  2. Achieving nice soft centers means not over-baking. You’re better off pulling the cookies before you really think they’re done.
  3. Light or dark brown sugar will work just fine. I used dark to really get that deep flavor.
  4. Almond extract is what makes the flavor here really special.
  5. These cookies freeze great in an air-tight container.
  6. Mix as little as possible. Overmixing = tough, flat cookies.

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Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light; I used dark)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  •  1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time, on the lowest speed. Mix in vanilla and almond extract on low. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Form dough into generous tablespoon-sized balls and place 2 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets, no more than 6 cookies to a pan; they will spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set and just beginning to brown around the edges. Let cool for 2 minutes then use a spatula to transfer to cooling rack to cool completely._DSC7208

Sparkling Strawberry Sugar Cookies

On Monday, I showed you my Pink Marbled Cupcakes in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness and told you all about the Party for Pink that I brought them to. Along with those pretty cupcakes, I also made these Sparkling Strawberry Sugar Cookies for raffling off to one lucky pink-lovin’ party-goer.

These are pink to the tenth power, inside and out. Each cookie sports a sparkling coat of pink sugar, making them a stylish symbol of girl power. But the beauty of these cookies ain’t just skin-deep; I took my favorite buttery, sweet, and tender sugar cookie recipe then bestowed it with a kiss of strawberry. These babies are soft as a cloud, with a subtle yet sweet strawberry flavor that evokes childhood memories of cotton candy-pink strawberry milk.

All those sparkles may look glamorous, but these cookies are really quite simple. And that simplicity makes them supreme in flavor and texture: delicious, soft, and addicting, with a little bit of sparkle.

Because sparkles make everything better.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. I know you’re used to watching for a cookie to brown in order to tell when it’s done, but with these, you just want them to be set. If they’re browned, they won’t be as soft.
  2. This recipe yields a big batch, so if you only need a couple cookies, cut it in half or freeze some of the dough for later.
  3. You can make these as rolled out cut-out cookies if you like.
  4. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract for extra flavor.

Sparkling Strawberry Sugar Cookies

Yield: About 4 dozen

Adapted From Foodbeast

  • 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 package strawberry gelatin dessert mix
  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • red or pink food dye
  • pink sugar sprinkles

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, gelatin mix, and salt.

2. In an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat in vanilla until blended. Gradually add flour mixture and food dye and beat on low just until incorporated. Add more dye as necessary to achieve desired vibrancy. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll sugar cookie dough into generous tablespoon-sized balls then roll in sugar sprinkles. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until puffed and set. They should not be browned, but also should not look wet in the center. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.


Mini Rainbow Sugar Cookies w/ Vanilla Glaze – Video!

Sprinkles are an automatic day-brightener. Add them to anything, whether it be ice cream sundaes or funfetti cakes, and your food goes from plain to party-ready. These cute little mini cookies are no exception.  They melt right into the cookie dough as it bakes, leaving the cookies speckled with festive rainbow tidbits. Between their colorful palate and their mini size, these cookies are about absolutely adorable. How adorable, you ask? Baby penguin adorable. That’s pretty darn cute.

These cookies aren’t just pretty; they’ve got personality too. And by personality, I mean they’re delicious. They are so divinely soft, melting in your mouth with ease. I dare you to eat just one. With their bite-sized appeal, the vibrant sprinkles, and the sheet of smooth vanilla glaze, these treats are downright addicting. Caution: eating a couple leads to eating a couple dozen. You’ve been warned!

These super soft sugar cookies are as fun as they are delicious. Whip up a batch for yourself, and I guarantee they will brighten your day.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. I’m throwing a party in my how-to video! Don’t miss it!
  2. Speaking of parties, these cookies are party-perfect.
  3. Kids and adults will love these cookies.
  4. This recipe makes A TON of cookies. I cut it in half when I made them.
  5. You can skip the glaze if you like. The cookies are amazing on their own.
  6. It’s important to pull the cookies when they’re set, not browned. I know this goes against most cookie baking logic, but if you wait for them to brown, they’ll be overdone and they won’t be as soft.
  7. Don’t skip the parchment paper! Your cookies come off nice and easy, and clean up is a breeze.

Mini Rainbow Sugar Cookies w/ Vanilla Glaze
Adapted from Foodbeast

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat in vanilla until blended. Gradually add flour mixture and beat on low just until incorporated.  Stir in the sprinkles until evenly distributed. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Roll dough into teaspoon-sized balls (or a teeny bit bigger). You can use a teaspoon or watermelon baller to scoop the dough so each cookie is uniform size. Place balls on parchment paper-lined trays, 6-8 cookies per tray depending on the size.  Bake cookies 5 – 10 minutes until set, they should not be browned at all. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

5. Make the glaze: Whisk powdered sugar, milk, an vanilla together in a bowl until completely smooth. Once cookies are cooled, top them with the glaze. You may dip them or spread it on with a knife. Allow glaze to set & enjoy!


Princess Valentine Cookie Sammies w/ Strawberry Buttercream Filling

I apologize in advance for the epic amounts of girlishness crammed into these cookies. It just sort of happened.

I’m not five-years-old, I SWEAR.

I am, however, a kid at heart. As I explained to you while discussing my latest Wegmans finds, I am, and will forever be, a Disney girl. When I saw that Pillsbury had dished out Princess Valentine Shape Sugar Cookies in honor of good old February 14th, I just about lost my marbles. Disney Princess cookies? Is this a childhood dream come true?

On their own, these pre-made cookies are cute and girly enough. I mean, they’re pink with a little purple high heel printed on the center. Plus, the white heart surrounding the shoe makes them quite Valentine’s Day appropriate. I, however, cannot bake pre-made cookie dough with good conscience unless I jazz it up a little.

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Soft Sweetheart Sugar Cookies

People possess very mixed opinions about Valentine’s Day. Generally, they tend to support on of the following opinions:

  1. “Oh my god, I love Valentine’s Day! My boyfriend/girlfriend and I are so IN LOVE. I want everyone to know! Let’s eat chocolate and have an expensive dinner!” These people live for V-Day. Cupid got them bad. They can commonly be spotted adorning festive red and pink attire and jamming out to love songs.
  2. I hate Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day sucks. All you love birds make me sick. I’m going to go listen to depressing music and think about how much Valentine’s Day sucks.” The passionate hatred of Valentine’s Day associated with these people is usually attributed to a recently broken heart or a non-existent love life. I think everyone dips their feet into these waters at some point or another.
  3. Valentine’s Day is just a card store conspiracy. They just want to make us go buy cards and chocolate. It’s purely for the economy. You should show your love every day, not just because the calendar tells you to.” These people make a few good points, and they may be right, but it’s often times a bitter heart fueling these words rather than unbiased logic. Unless, of course, if you’re a man. Many men fall under this category. Not because they’re bitter, but because a holiday full of lovey-dovey pink and purpleness seems completely absurd in their opinion.

Which one are you? I ten to hover somewhere between 1 and 2. It’s hard not to feel a little bit of resentment towards a day that highlights one’s single status, but at the same time, I think it’s great to have a day that honors love. True, you should express your love every day, not just because of a holiday, but couldn’t the same be said for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? I think having a special day allotted to such relationships is pure fun. Even if you lack a “lover” to spend Valentine’s Day with, surely you have someone you love to celebrate. Whether it be a friend, a sibling, your parents, or even your dog, show that special someone you care about them.

It just so happens that I have the perfect way to do so. Nothing says “I love you” quite like these Soft Sweetheart Sugar Cookies. Their heart shape is a universal sign of affection, plus pretty pink frosting and colorful sprinkles add to the overall festiveness. If you could bake love into cookie form, these would be it. Not only are their romantic aesthetics appropriate for Valentine’s Day, but baking them from scratch will show your loved one(s) you care more than any store-bought gift could.

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