Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Sand Dollar Cookies

This cookie recipe is from last summer’s LCBO magazine. It had been languishing in my recipe folder because it looked like a lot of work, what with placing the almond slivers on each cookie, but I decided to go for it. It’s actually pretty simple, and much less time-consuming than I had thought. I did have a funny moment, though, because of what I call pregnancy brain. You know how they used to have ads that said, “This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs”? Well, this is your brain on pregnancy hormones: don’t be surprised if you realize at the end that one lonely cookie was left almond-less! It was delicious nonetheless. I got a total of 20 cookies, which disappeared very quickly.

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ cup. unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used cold margarine)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
½ cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray or oil.

Measure flour into a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and baking soda. Stir to evenly distribute.

In a medium bowl, use a wooden spoon or mixer to beat butter with sugar for 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until evenly mixed. Stir in flour mixture just until no white streaks remain.

Scoop up about 1 Tbsp. of dough. Using well-floured hands, roll into a ball about 1 inch ( 2.5 cm) wide. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat, placing them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Dip the flat bottom of a wide glass in flour. Shake off the excess flour and press down on the cookies until they are no more than ¼ inch (5 mm) thick. To create a natural looking uneven edge, dip the end of a knife or chopstick into flour and make several indents, about ¼ inch (5 mm) deep, in the edge of each cookie. Using floured fingers gently tap down cookies to even out their thickness. Press 5 slivered almonds in a spoke design around the center of each cookie.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Use a spatula to remove cookies to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough (if you have any – all of my cookies fit on one sheet). Cooled cookies stored in a sealed container at room temperature will keep well at least 4 days.

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