Almond Cookies #fbcookieswap

Today happens to be one of my favorite days of the year, do you know why? It's time to reveal my recipe for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil. This is, without a doubt, the highlight of my year. I get to bake and eat cookies while I help support an incredibly important cause. My job is so cool sometimes! This is my third year participating in the swap which partners with Cookies for Kids' Cancer to raise money to fund new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer.

For the swap I made a batch of traditional almond flavored butter cookies and sent them out to my three partners in crime: Rachel from Bakerita, Reneé from Kudos Kitchen by Renee, and Elizabeth from Food Ramblings. I've always loved the simple flavor of these cookies and the fact that you can dip or drizzle them in dark chocolate for a little something extra. They're one of the few cookies that go in the cookie care packages I send out to my friends every year—they're always a hit!

Now in return I got to snack on some pretty amazing cookies, so if you're looking for something new to bake you may want to try out these Ginger Crinkles from Shana at Shana Was Here, Chocolate Dipped Walnut Butter Cookies or Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies from Susan at A Life Less Processed, and Egg Nog Shortbread from Tracy at Pale Yellow.

Or you can check out some of our other popular cookie recipes from years past:

If you are a food blogger or know a food blogger who might want to participate the swap next year you can sign up for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap mailing list for updates.

Almond Cookies - Not Starving Yet

Almond Cookies
makes approximately 36 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup almond slivers 

Directions

  • In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar, then add the egg and almond extract. Slowing add flour, baking soda, salt and almond slivers then mix until well combined. The final dough will be very course.
  • Place finished dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, roll into a large ball, and cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before continuing.
  • Preheat oven to 325ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Using a cookie scoop form 1¼ inch balls and place then 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Press the balls flat with the palm of your hand, then bake at 325ºF for 14-16 minutes or until edges and bottoms are lightly browned.
  • Allow the finished cookies to cool for several minutes before transferring to wire racks.

Notes

With butter cookies it's important that you don't place your dough on a hot pan or leave it out on the counter while you're working—the cookies will lose their shape. Make sure you refrigerate your dough until you're ready to bake and allow your cookie sheets adequate time to cool down between batches.

For the most accurate results you'll want to roll all of your dough into balls at the same time. Otherwise you can form them as you go, but your may find your yield varies slightly.

Gingerbread Boys - 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Over the summer, while I was sitting in a hotel room in Olathe, Kansas, I came across the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil. The swap partnered withCookies for Kids' Cancer raises money to fund new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer. It sounded like a lot of fun and it was for a good cause. At that moment I knew I had to participate this year, so I signed up for the mailing list. I also knew that I would be making this specific cookie, it's one of my favorites and I love to share it any chance I get.

If you aren't familiar with how the cookie swap works, it's actually pretty simple. You sign up, make a donation, and are given a list of three names. You send out a dozen cookies to each of those people and three different people each send you a dozen cookies. You bake, you eat great cookies, you write, and this simple act raises money for a great cause.

In case you were wondering these lovely ladies sent me cookies:

Kasha from The Farm Girl Cooks sent her Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Cari from Fatgirl Hedonist sent her Salted Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Amanda from Amanda K by the Bay sent her Pepparkakor Cookies

I sent my gingerbread boys to:

Erica from Sun and Good Eats

Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet

Nicole from 350 Preheat

If you haven't had a chance to make gingerbread boys before, give this recipe a shot. Not only is it simple to make, but the dough stores well. You can freeze it for up to three months or keep in the fridge for a few days, then pull it out and surprise your guests with home made cookies at a moments notice. They'll never know you don't spend all day in the kitchen.

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Chez Panisse Ginger Snaps
makes approximately 18 large cookies

Ingredients

cup sugar
11 tablespoons room temperature salted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground all spice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup mild-flavored molasses 
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 cups flour 

Directions

  • In a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add spices, vanilla, egg, and molasses then mix until well incorporated.
  • Add sifted flour and continue to mix until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill.

This dough can be stored in the fridge for several days before baking, or frozen for later use.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Divide dough into two portions, leave one out to work with and place the other in the refrigerator so it doesn't get soft.
  • On a flour covered surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.

If you have trouble with the cookie cutter or rolling pin sticking to the dough try applying flour to it.

  • Place cutouts at least 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes.
  • Let cookies cool for at least 2 minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet, then enjoy!

If you don't feel like cutting out individual shapes with cookie cutters then you may want to try this tip. Line a bread pan with plastic wrap and press dough into the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate or freeze the dough overnight. Once chilled you can remove the log of dough and cut off individual pieces.

Recipe Inspiration:

This recipe is originally from The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters although I came across it on David Lebovitz's blog several years ago.

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