Monday, December 5, 2011

'Tis the season, Cookies, 2

These cookies are really plain looking (but melt in your mouth good) so I dress them up a bit with red (and sometimes green) sugary sprinkles. They are “stamp cookies” and our family name for them comes from the design on my cookie stamp.

“Birdie Cookies” (aka Almond Butter Cookies)

Preheat oven to 350℉
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until crispy and slightly brown on edges.

1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
Some additional sugar in a bowl
Red sprinkles

1. Cream butter and sugar (I use a wooden spoon).
2. Add the flour, salt, and almond flavoring.
3. If the dough seems too sticky it can be chilled but I usually don't have to do that.
4. Pinch off pieces of dough, not more than 1” in size and roll in the extra sugar.
5. Place little balls on ungreased cookie sheets
5. Stamp with the cookie stamp. (The dough does not have a leavening agent so the cookies will not get much bigger in size, as long as they are not touching you can fill up the sheet. I often get 24 cookies on one sheet.)
6. Decorate flattened cookies with red sprinkles.
7. Bake for about 14 minutes. The cookies should be crispy and brown around the edges but still light in the centers.

Makes about 3 or 4 dozen cookies depending on the size of the original balls of dough.

There is a funny story about Birdie Cookies. They are so easy to make that I quite often use them as a backup cookie if I need to take a treat someplace. One year I was on jury duty and it was a long trial, about 6 weeks. Those of us on the jury spent a lot of time in the break room and began volunteering to bring in goodies. One person brought donuts, another some fruit, another something else. When it was my turn I took these cookies. They just sat there on the table looking plain and nobody was trying them. Then one man finally got hungry enough to reach over to the plate and take one looking at it like he wondered what kind of a bland cookie he was going to be biting into. He sort of shrugged and took a bite. The rest of the cookie quickly disappeared. A few moments later he looked around the table checking everybody out and then reached over and grabbed a big handful of the cookies with a little smile on his face. Needless to say there were no cookies left on the plate by the end of the day.

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