Every cookie was delicious!!! (Or, so they say). I know that the few cookies I sampled were really, really good but, with butter, sugar, chocolate, almond paste and raspberry jam, how could you lose? This was a collaborative effort…Holly, Bethy and I spent a very productive day together baking for Jill’s (Holly’s beautiful future daughter-in-law’s) bridal shower.
Here are the recipes:
2. Pignoli Cookies – I use the almond paste that is sold by the pound.
3. Chocolate Macaroons – Instead of sliced almonds, we used finely chopped blanched almonds. (Just as good, if not better!)
6. Chocolate Espresso Balls: (in the photo, these have the white pearlized jimmies) I ate two and could have easily eaten a dozen. They were so very rich and scrumptious.
2 sticks softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. ground espresso beans (regular coffee works too)
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Approx. 1/2 cup white chocolate for frosting
Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and espresso. Mix until blended. Mix in flour, cocoa and chocolate chips. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. (Cookies spread very little) Bake 15 – 20 minutes, until firm. When cookies are cooled, frost with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with jimmies.
8. Mexican Tea Cakes – tender, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth!
9. Raspberry White Chocolate Bars – I used a jelly roll pan (10 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 1) to make these cookies. The recommended 13 x 9 x 2 yields a bar with a thicker cookie bottom; I like them a little thinner. This cookie was a HUGE hit!
10. No-Fail Sugar Cookie Hearts – this is a great, tasty recipe. My changes: I cut the recipe in half, eliminate the salt and use only about 3/4 tsp. of baking powder because I don’t like the cookies to be too puffy. I followed SweetSugarBelle’s recipe for Royal Icing and I totally loved it! It was easy to make (she has a great tutorial) and the yield was high. I chose to flavor it with pure almond extract, mmmmm.
11. Neapolitan Sugar Cookies – here’s the snafu: these cookies were from a recipe printed in the March-April 2011 issue of Southern Lady. I cannot locate the recipe anywhere online; nor can I locate a copy of the magazine. So, here’s what I can tell you. It’s basically an icebox/refrigerator cookie with one third of the dough mixed with melted semi-sweet chocolate, one third mixed with strawberry extract and a bit of red food coloring, and the last third of the dough is left plain. Each dough is then rolled into four thin ropes, and each of two cookie logs is formed by alternating two plain, two chocolate and two strawberry ropes. After the logs have been refrigerated, slice the cookies, top with coarse sugar and bake.
The cookies are sparkly and pretty, and have a mild strawberry flavor.
12. Almond Diamonds – courtesy of Ursula – made by Holly
4 extra large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole almonds
Using a wooden spoon, mix the eggs and continue to mix completely after adding each ingredient. Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with aluminum foil, and spray with Pam. Bake in the center of the oven @ 375 for 10 minutes, transfer to the top oven rack and cook for 10 more minutes.** Remove from oven and immediately turn out onto a cutting board. Let cool completely and, using a sharp knife, cut into diamonds.
I think that does it!
Hope you enjoy these recipes and have lots of fun creating your own “Party-Perfect” cookie tray!
Of note, the cookies were baked and frozen before assembling the trays.
**Holly tells me that the cookies should be a very light golden brown.