A couple of weeks ago I made Nutcracker cookies for a young girl that was playing Clara in the local production of ‘The Nutcracker’. When her Aunt contacted me to make the cookies I was super excited because ‘The Nutcracker’ is my favorite. Favorite music. Favorite costumes. Favorite ballet…although I admit I’ve only been to the ballet two other times and it was to see ‘The Giselle’ or jackal or something. Clearly (not) very memorable.
Then I became a part of “The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap” where I was given three secret names of fellow food bloggers to send a dozen cookies each.
Did you catch that “fellow food bloggers”??? It turns out I’m a food blogger. I appreciate that Lindsay and Julie were a little lenient with me on the definition.
So I thought that since I was making the Nutcracker cookies for one order, why not make them for the cookie swap too? I thought it was a fabulous idea. Eight hours in I wavered a bit but am really happy with the results.
As always, the vanilla sugar cookie recipe from Lilaloa is my go-to-never-fail recipe. The edges come out crisp and the cookies bake flat. Here it is:
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 1/2 cups of flour (if making the cookies immediately. If not use just 4 cups flour)
Beat together butter and sugar. Add 2 eggs, vanilla and almond and mix. Add salt and baking powder and mix some more. Add flour, 1 cup at a time. Roll out the dough.
**BIG TIP - Lay out a sheet of wax or parchment paper on the counter instead of flouring the surface. Put the cookie dough on the paper. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough. Roll it flat. This technique prevents the dough from sticking to the surface of both the counter and the rolling pin. Easy!!
Bake at 375 degrees for about ten minutes or until the edges brown. Mmmmmm.