Diamond-edged, melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies

Give simple butter cookies some holiday sparkle by using red or green sugar. These cookies are easy to prep ahead of time and freeze until you need to bake them.

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    These sugar-coated butter cookies add a little sparkle to any holiday cookie gift.
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Is it weird that the more I love something, the less often I tend to make it? There’s a reason for that. Yup, you guessed it. It’s because I would eat it. And before you scratch your head over that, remember that the only reason I don’t weigh 300 pounds is because I exercise (literally and figuratively) portion control. Everything you see on my blog, I’ve often only had a bite of: 1 cookie, a sliver of brownie, a half slice of cake. Unless I confess otherwise. I’m usually honest about my portion control transgressions and will ‘fess up when I’ve eaten five of something because it was just that good.

This falls into the five-cookies-consumed category. At least I’m pretty sure I ate five when I first tried out this recipe a while back. This year, so far I’ve baked off most of it and given them away but I haven’t tried this batch yet. But I’m pretty sure they tasted fine since I followed the same recipe and they looked good.

The only thing I did differently was to roll the cookie logs into red and green sanding sugars so I could get the Christmas look for my care packages and goodie bags. I really liked how they ended up looking, and it’s just as easy to roll the cookie dough logs in colored sugars as well as plain sparkle sugar.

Recommended: Christmas cookies for everyone on your list

If you want to make them for Hanukkah, blue sanding sugar and silver sanding sugar work just as well as red and green for Christmas celebrants. I love the versatility of this dough. It’s easy to make, you can make it ahead of time and keep it in your freezer until you need it (thaw for 10-15 minutes beforehand just for ease of slicing but don’t let the dough get warm) and they’re delicious slices of butter goodness. Just try to stop after five.

Diamond-edged, melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies 
From Bakewise by Shirley Corriher

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 2-tablespoon pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (I used vanilla extract)
2 large egg yolks
2-1/4 cups (9.9 ounces) bleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coarse or crystal sugar
1 large egg, beaten

1. In a heavy-duty mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, salt, and almond extract until light and creamy. Add the yolks, one at a time, and beat with each addition, just to blend in thoroughly.

2. On low speed, beat in the flour, scraping down the bowl twice. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each into a log about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.

3. Sprinkle coarse sugar evenly on wax paper, the length of the rolls and about 4 inches wide. Brush a roll lightly with beaten egg, then roll in sugar to coat well. Repeat with each roll. Wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

4. About 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, place a shelf in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

5. Cover a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Slice cookies into 3/8-inch slices and arrange about 1 inch apart on the sheet.

6. Place the baking sheet on the arranged shelf. Bake one sheet at a time until the edges just begin to brown, about 14 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack.

Related post on Pastry Chef's Baking: Lemon Tarts with Almond Shortbread Crust

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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