Festive Sand Dollar Cookies
Posted by Jody on December 11, 2012
‘Tis the season to be baking. Fa la la la la!
I definitely have my own favorites for our family Christmas cookie line up, and some kind of yummy cut-out sugar cookie is always on that list!
This year I decided to try something a little different. Inspired by my collection of sand dollars, I thought it would be fun to try out an idea for coastal themed Christmas cookies. Of course, these sweet beach treasures are great for any time of year and would be a big hit at any luau or beach picnic!
I used a sugar cookie recipe that I found at Art of Dessert (recipe below).
After rolling out the dough to 1/4 inch, I used a small mouth Mason jar lid band to cut out my cookies. It was just the right size (almost 3″ across) for the sand dollar I was trying to match. Once the cookies were cut and placed onto the cookie sheet, I pressed five whole, blanched almonds into the shape of the sand dollar design in the bottom center of each cookie dough circle. For some of the sweet treats, I used a plastic drinking straw to push a hole through the top of the cookie (for hanging). Before placing the cookie sheet into the oven, I sprinkled the cut-outs with sugar. For the first batch of sand dollar cookies, I used a lighter sugar crystal. Thinking that I’d like the remaining batches of the cookies to look a little more “sandy,” I used a darker “raw” sugar for sprinkling on the rest.
Of course, hanging your tempting sand dollar cookies on the Christmas tree is optional. You might want to wait until just before the guests arrive to keep these goodies safe from dogs, kids, elves and cookie monsters of all ages!
You’ll need to use a sugar cookie recipe that would make a sturdy enough dough for setting the blanched whole almonds into the sand dollar design.
Here’s the basic recipe I used:
Egg-Free Sugar Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies (This size of sand dollar made 30 cookies)
Allergy Note: contains wheat and dairy ingredients
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I’m thinking of adding a touch of almond extract to my next batch.)
1/4 cup milk
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract and milk. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Divide the cookie dough in half, form them into discs and wrap them in wax paper or plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until slightly firm.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, take out one of the discs and roll it to about 1/4 inches thick. Cut into shapes and transfer onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. (Here’s where I pressed in the whole, blanched almonds and sprinkled on the sugar “sand”.) This dough can get a little too soft to handle at room temperature so you may have to return it to the refrigerator after rolling and cutting your first batch of cookies. You can bring out the second disc when you’re ready to roll and cut the second batch for baking. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the golden brown around the edges.
You might want to consider making a double batch if you want to have any left for Santa!
This entry was posted on December 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM and is filed under Beachy Keen Art. Tagged: baking, beach, beach picnic foods, Christmas, Christmas cookies, holiday beach ornament, sand dollars, sugar cookie recipe. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.