I've been home from North Carolina for almost a week now. I've baked a few things but quite frankly haven't had the motivation or inspiration to write anything or take pictures until now. It's pretty rough to come back from warm, beautiful sunny weather to day after day of clouds, rain and cold, not to mention being away from my sweetheart!
But life must go on and until I'm able to move more permanently, it doesn't make any sense to sulk around in the mean time. In comes baking - my ultimate comfort in its routine of measuring out ingredients, whisking, creaming, smelling and most importantly, tasting. I've had this recipe on my YumTab for a few months now and when I was browsing for things to bake, this seemed like the perfect time to try it out. Sand dollars are adorable reminders of sun, sand, seashells and water. I can't tell you how much I love the beach. I realize being a full time beachcomber is not an original dream but I could absolutely spend the rest of my life walking up and down the North Carolina coastline and never get sick of it.
These cookies are absolutely delicious and I hope you try them! They're buttery, tender, slightly sandy like the environment they evoke and bring some much-needed sunshine to this rainy spell so many of us are going through. I halved the recipe and got exactly 24 cookies, and added a pinch of salt and vanilla extract to enhance the flavor of the dough. This is a great project for a rainy afternoon when all you can think about is being at the beach with your favorite person :)
Sand Dollar Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs - 1 whole, 1 yolk with the whole egg and the white in a separate bowl
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch kosher salt
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
In a large bowl, cream together the soft butter and powdered sugar until very creamy. Add in the whole egg and yolk, then beat until well combined, then the vanilla and salt. Stir in the flour and baking powder until you have a very soft dough. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to 1/4" thick on a floured surface and cut out 3" circles. Brush the circles with the reserved egg white, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar and press 5 almond slices into the center of each circle. Bake for 3-4 minutes, then take the sheet out and press the almonds in again, making slight indentations in the circle. Place the sheet back in the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, another 7-10 minutes, depending on how thick you cut the circles. Stored airtight, these cookies will keep up to 5 days.