Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing

Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing tree

You may recognize these Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing as my Halloween Sugar Cookies and you’re right. They’re exactly the same. But somehow, when I was looking at the page to make our Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing to give to friends, it simply didn’t feel right. I figured that if I was having a hard time using Halloween pictures to make Christmas cookies, well, probably you were having a hard time, too. Or even worse, not using Dirty Laundry Kitchen to make your Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing at all. Imagine my horror. Today, might have been my favorite time to date making these Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing, because my daughter and her daycare class all helped me out in the kitchen. Each child stamped out their own cookie, waited patiently as they baked, and then tromped back to school where these (unfrosted) cookies were the afternoon snack. Meanwhile I decorated the rest of these Old School Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing. Since I forgot how intense the gel food coloring I use is, I ended up with some seriously intense colors this year. But I really like them. And … Continue reading

Swedish Orange Cardamom Stars

swedish orange cardamom stars iced

These Swedish Orange Cardamom Stars provide a festive and light dessert that will pair nicely with the cocktail and further our theme of glitter and sparkles for New Year’s. You can make the dough ahead a couple of days and store in the refrigerator, but baking ahead isn’t the best. These are definitely a cookie that’s best fresh. Swedish Orange Cardamom Stars also make great tea cookies though, as they’re almost crisp-like. 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup powdered sugar ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon ground cardamom ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup almond paste, crumbled 1 tablespoon butter, chilled 1/3 cup orange juice concentrate (thawed) 3 tablespoons canola oil Icing: 2 cups powdered sugar 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate (thawed) Combine flour, 1 cup powdered sugar, baking soda, cardamom, and salt in a food processor; process until blended. Add almond paste and butter; process until blended. Add juice and oil. Process until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half. Press into a two disks and wrap with plastic. Chill 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°. Working with 1 disk at a time roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut cookies out with a star-shaped cookie cutter. Place … Continue reading

Danish Puffs

Danish Puff

The second almond dessert of the week, as promised: Danish Puffs. The flaky crust, the custardy egg puff that is pâte à choux, the buttery sweet almond frosting, the crunchy almonds… such an amazing complement. My mom, sister and I used to make these on Christmas Eve and then we frosted them Christmas morning, while we made coffee, sliced fruit and watched my brother make eggs or savory bread pudding. My dad was outside feeding the birds so we could watch the cardinals, goldfinches and chickadees enjoy their winter feast, and hopefully, it would snow. While I’m not always in Wisconsin to complete the ritual, baking this breakfast pastry brings back all of the wonderful memories. Make Danish Puffs part of your Holiday tradition now. This recipe makes two puffs, and they freeze rather well. ½ cup cold butter ¾ cup room temperature butter; divided 2 cups flour; divided 1 cup + 2 tablespoon water; divided 2 teaspoons almond extract; divided 3 eggs 2 cups powdered sugar 2 tablespoons milk sliced almonds Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix as if you’re making a pie crust (for me, that’s in a food processor) ½ cup cold butter and one cup … Continue reading

Norwegian Almond Bars

Norwegian Bars

Close in time to making these Norwegian Almond Bars, my sister asked me to rank pistachios, cashews, peanuts and almonds in order of preference. I told her it was impossible, except that I knew peanuts were always last. Which is not to say I don’t like peanuts, I just like them less than the others. It’s impossible for me, because I like to use different nuts for different things. But the honest truth is that an almond shortage would probably hit me the hardest. So perhaps I have to admit I like almonds the most- maybe not when eating a simple snack- but definitely when it comes to cooking. The first step is always admitting you have a problem. And you already know all about mine. Almond desserts. So this week you’re getting two more, just in time for Christmas. For whatever reason, MANY Scandinavian desserts are all about almonds. I set out to do a little research, but I couldn’t find anything worth reporting as to why that is. Instead, I’ll just index some of my favorites, as evidence that I’m right: Princess cake (which is covered in marzipan), Almond cake, these Norwegian Almond Bars, and Danish Puffs. And … Continue reading

Winter’s Eve Mice Cookies

mice cookies in front of tree

While it’s true that there are lots and lots of cookies already hanging around in offices and lounges everywhere, I promise you’re going to need to make one more recipe, these Winter’s Eve Mice Cookies. Because they are the cutest cookies EVER. It doesn’t hurt that they’re also really delicious. It’s a fun cookie to bake ahead and then bring to a party unassembled. People get into working together to build the cookies. It’s fun to make an assembly line as the jobs naturally divide up. There’s a froster, a cherry dipper, a kiss placer, an ear maker and then of course, we all get to be the eaters. And if you’re so inclined, word on the street is that Santa really likes these Winter’s Eve Mice Cookies. Makes around 60 mice (I’ve subdivided the ingredients by element, so make sure you read the whole thing before you make your shopping list). Pecan shortbread cookies: 1 cup unsalted butter ½ cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 ¼ cups flour ¾ cup pecan pieces ½ teaspoon salt Beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Beat in salt and powdered sugar. Add in vanilla. Add in flour until fully incorporated. Finally … Continue reading