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Friday, April 30, 2010

Sand Dollar Cookies

My best friend from high school is quite the beach bum. Missy lives for the beach and she even has a business making beach inspired jewelry. Her beautiful little charms and pendants are perfect for a "dressy/casual" evening at your favorite beachside bistro.

One of my favorite memories from my high school years was a chance meeting in Myrtle Beach with Missy. I'd been on the other coast for most of the Summer enjoying San Diego. When I got home, my parents decided they wanted to spend a few days at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Of course, at 16 I had no intention of hanging out with the parental unit. Instead, I headed to the Myrtle Beach Pavilion to hang out and play video games. Much to my surprise I looked up to find Missy walking through. We spent the remainder of the weekend hanging out together and goofing off.

Anyway, one of the favorite pastimes along the beach is collecting shells. But, in South Carolina (and many Southern states) the real prize to find are Sand Dollars. Lots of people look for the biggest they can find, but the real treasures are the tiny ones. Of course, like all things Southern, they come with a legend. Supposedly, during the hours that Jesus hung on the cross on Good Friday the Holy Spirit was so distraught it had to find a place to hide and weep. It finally entered the shell of the lowly Sand Dollar. That's why if you break open a Sand Dollar you find little pieces that resemble white doves.

Anyway, Missy is headed to the beach for the weekend, I hear so I thought I'd join her in spirit by making some Sand Dollar Cookies. These are tasty and easy and sure to put a smile on your favorite Beachcomber's face.


Sand Dollar Cookies

A wonderful summer treat that brings thoughts of surf and sand!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 14 minutes
Total time: 24 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • sliced almonds
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar and beat until well blended. Add 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk and beat until blended.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill a minimum of 2 hours.
  4. Roll dough to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness on floured surface. Cut with round 3-inch cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush lightly with beaten egg white.
  5. Mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over cookies. Gently press 5 almond slivers into cookies in a spoke design in the center of each cookie.
  6. Bake for 4 minutes. Remove pan from oven and gently press almonds into cookies again. Return to oven and bake additional 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire rack to cool completely before serving.
  7. Flavor note: For a little added surprise use 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of fresh lemon peel in dough.

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