I love to bake things that are not only delicious, but are aesthetically pleasing. These cookies are so beautiful, and who else do I have to thank but Paula Deen? I just love her, and I find myself going back to her recipes more than any other TV Chef. I think it’s because we’re both from the south, and even though I’m not typically southern, I certainly appreciate her love of butter and bacon! (P.S. I make a Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookie, let me know if you’re interested in that recipe.)
Anyway, a few years ago, this cookie was featured in the series of recipes called “The Twelve Days of Cookies,” hosted by Food Network. I knew I had to make these the moment I saw them. They’re buttery, almondy (that’s not a word, but oh well), and just gorgeous. Paula’s secret ingredient to making these sugar cookies a little extra special, is almond extract.
I will say, that these cookies can be a little pricey to make, initially. When I made these three years ago, I didn’t have a snowflake cookie cutter. Surprisingly, it is hard to find a pretty snowflake cookie cutter. The one I ended up with was eight dollars, for ONE cookie cutter. The dragees are also a little pricey, at around eleven dollars for a jar (You might be able to find them cheaper, but there was only one brand available where I shop. You can find them with the specialty spices/sprinkles). The good news is, they last forever. You don’t need a lot of them. As a bonus, this year I stocked up, because I found a bunch marked down to three dollars. The meringue powder costs another five dollars or so. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from making these cookies. Just know, that if you make your grocery list, be prepared to spend a little more than you usually would for cookies.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Edible Paint Icing, recipe follows
Garnish: silver dragees, sugar pearls, sparkling sugar
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and almond extract until combined.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Wrap dough in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with assorted snowflake cookie cutters and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Chill dough 15 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Paint cookies with Edible Paint Icing. Garnish with silver dragees, sugar pearls and sparkling sugar, if desired.
Edible Paint Icing:
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Food coloring, optional
In a medium bowl, combine water and meringue powder; whisk until foamy. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired. Use immediately.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups