Bakin’ up Some Good Stuff

It was that time of year.  That time of year when the whole world stop keeps on keepin’ on but Janelle and I bake all day oblivious to it all.  We have done this for years.  It first started as a need – we had little children and if we were to get any baking done, it had to be when the husbands would care for the kids and we could pump the stuff out in bulk.  Now it is just one of those days we plan for and enjoy!  For the most part, we have a well-oiled system mastered.  Details of last year’s big bake are here.  

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Most importantly, I dressed for the occasion.  Jeans and Tennis shoes.  I hate this picture of me, but it is my proof.  I look like I have a spare tire.  I don’t.  Janelle is all business Type A, so I decided to up my game.  I hate being the slacker, but with her around, someone needs to balance her over-achieving self.  So basically, last year, she was a 10 and I was a 3.  This year, she was a 10 and I give myself about a 7.  Mostly because I had on the jeans. 

We tried a new recipe this year, and decided it is an annual thing now.  A co-worker brought these to school and I tucked the recipe away for this very occasion.  YUM!

20111126_141345_2498 Almond Sugar Cookies

1 Cup Butter (no substitutes), softened

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Teaspoon Almond Extract

2 Cups all-Purpose Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Glaze:

1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar

1 1/2 Teaspoons Almond Extract

2 to 3 Teaspoons Water

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in almond extract.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt;  gradually add to the creamed mixture.  Roll into 1 in. balls.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Coat bottom of a glass with non-stick cooking spray; dip in sugar.  Flatten cookies with prepared glass, dipping glass in sugar again as needed.   Bake at 200 degrees for 7 – 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool for 1 minutes before removing to wire racks.

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, almond extract and enough water to achieve glaze consistency.  Tint with food coloring if desired; drizzle over cookies.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Yield: about 4 1/2 dozen. 

(Note from the Piep:  I found that this recipe only made about 4 dozen when doubled, and I think I quintupled the glaze to have enough.  But then I like frosting.)

Not really.  Would you want to frost all of these?  Nope, but I want to eat them all.

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We dipped a bunch of stuff in Almond Bark, because Almond Bark makes all things Christmassy. 

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And in doing so, we learned a new trick.  Break the center two prongs off a plastic fork.  YEAH!!

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We decided it looked a little like something NDSU Bison fans would need!

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We also added one more new recipe that we loved.  But be careful, you can’t eat too much of this stuff.  Well, yes, you can.  What was I thinking?  Peppermint Bark!!  YUM!!!  You must try it.  It makes life worth living! 

Basically, we finished up earlier this year because, well, because we are getting old, had aching backs were craving Five Guys Burgers and Fries to balance out the sugar intake.   Yeah, that is why.  Not that we ate any or anything.

Plenty of baking remains ahead of us if we choose, but if someone asks for Christmas goodies, we simply have to grab some out of the freezer and call it good.  Cuz we are all awesome like that.

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