‘Tis the season for a cookie exchange! A cookie exchange is one of our favorite holiday traditions, from baking homemade goodies to getting together with family and friends to celebrate the reason for the season. Check out two of our favorite cookie exchange recipes, and make sure to make a few extra cookies to save for yourself!
Daria’s Best Ever Sugar Cookies
• 1/2 cup almond paste
• 4 large egg yolks
• 2 cups butter, softened
• 1 3/4 cups sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 3 tablespoons meringue powder
• 1/3 cup water
• Food coloring, coarse sugar and assorted sprinkles, optional
• In a large bowl, beat almond paste and egg yolks until crumbly. Add butter, sugar and salt; beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and mix well. Divide into four portions; shape each into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
• Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
• For frosting, beat confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder and water until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Color frosting if desired. Frost cookies; decorate with coarse sugar and sprinkles if desired. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor, finely grind almonds, sugar and salt. Add egg whites and vanilla; pulse until a ball forms.
• With wet hands, shape level tablespoons of dough into little balls (dough will be very sticky). Place on parchment-lined baking sheets; flatten slightly. Use moist finger to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake until crackly and light golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
• Cool 5 minutes; transfer to a rack. Meanwhile, warm jam over low heat or in microwave in 10-second intervals until slightly liquefied and easy to spoon. Spoon jam filling into each cookie. Let set, about 5 minutes.
Ready to impress your friends and family with these delicious treats? We thought so! If you’re also hosting a Secret Santa exchange this year, check out our Plush Non-slip Gripper Socks, perfect for keeping toes warm and cozy inside the house while never worrying about slipping!