Sunday, June 19, 2005

Sugar Cookies and Blogging By Mail

These cookies were sent off in a cookie jar as a house-warming gift to one of my best friends. Do you think she liked them?
Everyone likes to get something in the mail. A magazine is nice, a letter is nicer and a package is just about as good as it gets. After doing a little food exchange with Jessica, as I mentioned before, it dawned on me that it would be a good idea to see if any other bloggers (or readers) were interested in doing a little foodie exchange. I'm calling it Blogging By Mail.
Within a certain time frame, send a homemade treat or a favorite food item to another participant. We're not talking about anything big here: a jar of jam, a few homemade cookies, a local or regional specialty.... On the scheduled date, post about your experience and I'll do a little roundup here.
To participate, e-mail me with your mailing address (subject: Blogging By Mail) by July 1st. On that date, I'll send you someone's address and you can ship them off your package. Post about your experience on July 31st and I'll do a roundup shortly thereafter. I know it's a big time frame, but we have to allow for mailing, cooking and orgazational time. It'll be worth it: new friends, new foods and mail that isn't a bill!
As requested (and as it's an excellent point!), be sure to mention anything that you're deathly alergic to in your e-mail that way I can pass on the information.

These cookies are neither etremely chewy nor extremely crunchy. They have a nice melt-in-your-mouth type texture that lasts for days, which is why I chose to mail them up to my friend. The shortening gives them their puff and the butter gives them more flavor and moisture. If you use all butter the cookies will be chewier.
I used vanilla sugar, so you can see some of the vanilla beans in my cookies above. The flavor will still be great with just vanilla extract because the little bit of almond really gives it a boost!

Mailable Sugar Cookies
2 cups ap flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
10 tbsp butter, room temperature
4 tbsp shortening, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening and sugar for 1 minute, until smooth and light. Beat egg, vanilla and almond extracts until fully incorporated. Stir in flour mixture.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet and press lightly to flatten.
Bake 9-10 minutes at 375F. Cookies should not brown more than a tiny bit around the edges.
Remove to wire rack after 2 minutes.
Makes 50 2-inch cookies.