They're very pretty as you can see. It's an easy recipe that is also fast - the only time consuming thing is rolling the cookies into balls and then rolling them in sugars (granulated, then powdered). I think kids would love rolling these - rolling them in granulated sugar first keeps the powdered sugar suspended and as they bake it cracks revealing the yummy chocolateness beneath! Here's the recipe:
Mocha Almond Cookies (from Martha Stewart's Holidays book)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (you won't be sorry if you use good chocolate here!)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
6 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur (I used Kahlua)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped or ground
Extra sugar, for rolling
Sifted confectioners' sugar, for rolling
- Melt chocolate and butter in microwave, stir in liqueur; keep mixture warm.
- In separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy. Stir in chocolate mixture.
- Sift together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture.
- Stir in almonds. Chill dough until firm.
- Roll into one-inch balls (another great use for a small scoop) and chill for 10 minutes.
- Heat oven to 325.
- Roll balls first in granulated sugar then in confectioners' sugar, coating well.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on rack.
Now on to the sugar cookies - this recipe makes the best sugar cookies I've ever tasted. It's easy, easy, easy and the cookies are light and crunchy with just a hint of almond.
And, if you're in a hurry (as we often are at the holidays, right?) you can use this dough with a cookie press and have five dozen cookies baked in an hour. Sometimes I do roll these out and decorate them, but often I use a cookie press (you don't even have to chill the dough!). As you know, cookie press cookies lose a bit of their shape during baking, but they're still very cheery and extremely tasty! (And some cookie press shapes are better than these trees - wreaths are a great choice.)
Queen Street Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (yes, this is the secret to the yumminess!)
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour (I use self-rising; if using all-purpose add 1 t. baking soda & 1 t. cream of tartar)
- Mix butter and sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well.
- Stir in flour.
- Chill at least three hours. Roll to 3/16" and cut into desired shapes.
- Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 7 to 8 minutes.