Soft Almond Sugar Cookies

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Way to go with posting all the holiday stuff two days before Christmas, Sara.

I know that’s what you’re all thinking.

Don’t lie.

But I’m just now getting to it because 1. I was waiting until I got back to Vegas so I could bake with my mom and 2. I decided not to bake at home since I’m the only one there to eat all of this stuff.

That’s my excuse(s) and I’m sticking to it (them)!

But on the bright side, these are the best sugar cookies I’ve ever had.  I know that you’ve seen that phrase a sickeningly obnoxious amount of times on Pinterest but this is the for real truth.  I mean it!

They’re soft and biscuity and not to sweet and almondy and just plain delicious and the frosting is perfect okay?  So just take my word for it and make them, OKAY?!

Okay.

Also, I’m posting two different recipes for frosting.  The first is Royal Frosting and you use it to outline your cookies so the flood icing (second recipe) does not spill over the sides and give you a huge headache-y mess.  Just outline your cookies and designs with the royal icing (the thick white icing in my pictures) and fill it in with the colored flood icing and sprinkles and stuff.  Just add some food coloring to your flood icing to make a bunch of pretty colors and have fun!  Also, I recommend you use these kinds of bottles…

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…to spread your flood icing on your cookie.  It makes your life sooooo much easier, I swear.  You can get these at Michael’s in the baking section and probably at other grocery/baking stores.  Use a pastry bag (or plastic bag) and small round tip to outline the royal icing.

If you have any questions for me about these cookies, feel free to ask!  I have become an expert.

Cookies:

1 1/3 c. butter

1 1/2 c. sugar

3/4 c. buttermilk

2 eggs

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp. almond extract (if you’re allergic, you can just leave this out!)

5 1/2 c. AP flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

In a bowl, combine butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the buttermilk, eggs, and extracts.  It will look kind of curdy and gross, but don’t worry.  Combine all of your dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture in 3-4 stages.  If the dough is too runny, add more flour.  If it seems good and sturdy at 5 cups of flour, just stop there.  Seal the finished dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.

Roll the dough about 1/4 in. thick on a floured surface and use cookie cutters to make your favorite shapes.  I recommend rolling in batches and keeping unused dough in the fridge because when this gets warm, it becomes a huge mess.  Lay your cut out cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 5 minutes.  Bake them for 8-12 minutes at 350*.  They should be slightly browned around the edges and when you press them, they will feel soft.  Let them cool before frosting them!  *The time it takes to bake them depends on the size of your cookie cutter(s) and the thickness you roll out the dough*.

Royal Icing:

1/4 c. meringue powder or dried powdered egg whites

1/2 c. water

3 3/4 (1 lb.) powdered sugar

2 tsp. light corn syrup

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract (use vanilla if allergic)

Combine water and meringue powder (dried egg whites) and mix until frothy.  Add the rest of the ingredients and beat for about 6-8 minutes or until thick and stiff.  It should not be runny!  Outline the cookies using a pastry bag and small round tip.

Flood Icing:

1 c. powdered sugar

1 Tbs. milk

2 tsp. light corn syrup

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract (or vanilla)

Combine ingredients together with a whisk.  It should be the consistency of syrup.  Add more milk if it is too thick.  Add food coloring and put in bottles!  You can do as many or as little colors as you like.  We did dark green, light green, red, blue, and white.  I think we ended up making about 4 recipes of this for our cookies, but we had a bit leftover so I would start with maybe 2 or 3 batches and add more if needed.

Then just fill the outline of your designs with icing!  And add sprinkles or whatever else you like.  We used some black gel frosting from the store to make small designs on our cookies.  But be careful not to add too much or there will be a funky taste.  Which is bad joo joo.

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Aren’t they just so cute and happy?  These are a few of my favorites.  But we had some real gems.

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Merry Christmas!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your families.  P.S. These cookies would be good for any holiday in any shape!

XOXO Sara

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DIY Painted Wine Glasses

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I owe you guys a huge apology.

I’ve been on hiatus for way too long.

If I tell you I had finals that would determine whether I got an A or  a B in the class will you forgive me?

No?

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What if I show you how to make these?

“Yes Sara, we love you and forgive you.”

I’m glad we worked this out.

I made these for my mom’s Christmas present and I am now in love.  There’s a good chance many people will be getting these for their birthday/Valentine’s Day/Christmas next year.

Because aren’t they cute?!

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First, begin with some glass.  You can paint whatever kind of glass you like.  I know my mom likes wine.  Therefore, wine glasses.  I got these from Kohl’s on sale.  You will probably want some decent glass so they don’t scratch or get foggy easily.  But it’s up to you.  Mine are Sonoma brand and I got them 50% off for $10.  Score!

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This step is important!  Using rubbing alcohol, wipe down the surface you will be painting very well.  Notice all that dirt that came off of my brand new wine glasses?  Gross.  You don’t want paint chipping off because of that shit.

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Mix your paint, or buy the colors you want.  I used Martha Stewart glass paint in gloss.  You definitely don’t want to get cheapy on this part, since the paint is what’s making the glass special.  The paint is about $3/bottle but if you have a coupon, it’s way cheaper!  I just got blue, red, yellow, and white and mixed all of the colors I wanted together.  (No I did not use that weird dark blueish green color up there.  It actually looked prettier in person though).

Now it’s time to paint!  I used Q tips and dotted colors all over my wine glasses.  Including on the bottoms of the wine glasses.  It looks cool from inside 🙂

Now focus on this next part because it is vital to keep your glass from exploding when curing it!

First, place your glass on a baking sheet.

Set it in a cold oven.

Turn on the oven to 350*.  When it’s preheated, set the timer for 30 minutes.

When your timer rings, turn off the oven and do not open the oven or they could explode and you would be very, very sad.  Okay?!

Let the oven cool completely.  I made these late at night so I just left them in the oven overnight.

Take them out and let them sit for 72 hours before using them.

Alternatively, you can let them air cure for 21 days.  But who wants to wait that long?

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Also, I’d like to point out how pretty and summery they look.  Which is quite the coincidence since it’s snowing outside right now.

But they will be so nice by the pool in July, don’t you think?

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Here they are on a white surface so you can see them easier.

I can’t wait to give these to my mom because I know she’s going to love them!

Another bonus is that they only took about 1 hour of actual work (i.e. painting them).  So you really don’t have any excuses to not make them, right? (; Take an hour to make them.  Pair them with a bottle of wine and giftee will love you even more.

Christmas problems solved.

Merry Christmas my friends!

XOXO Sara