Happy New Year! & Manda Cookies: Sugar Cookies

Happy 2015 friends!

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Brett and I kicked off the night with a bottle of champagne and three cheese pairings from Murray’s. For dinner we headed to Bugs and each had their omakase tasting menu – it was insanely delicious. We rang in the New Year at our friend Annie’s apartment with pink champagne and whiskey punch. A pretty calm New Year, but exactly what we wanted – apparently we’re boring grown ups now!

I’m excited to see what 2015 has in store for me — I already have lots of travel to look forward to (including Maui, Mexico, Nashville, Vail and Abu Dhabi!), plus 90th birthday celebrations for my grandma, Brett’s grandma, and my gram (!!!). I know lots of people dislike New Year’s Resolutions, but I actually love them! My three resolutions this year are to (1) shop at the farmer’s market more, (2) drink less Diet coke, and (3) blog more! I think I can handle those.

I made sugar cookies yesterday to bring to Annie’s last night, and to a brunch we are headed to shortly. I think I have finally found a go-to sugar cookie recipe! It requires no cooling time in the refrigerator, and has a touch of almond extract so the flavor is nutty and not too sweet. I also found a good recipe for royal frosting that doesn’t require eggs or meringue powder — it’s corn syrup instead, which I know isn’t great, but royal-frosting-beggars can’t be choosers.

Sugar Cookies (original recipe here)

Here’s what you need:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour

Here’s what you do:
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in extracts and egg until combined. Add baking powder then gradually add flour. Dust flour on your counter and roll out about 1/4 of the dough at a time. Place cookie cut outs on parchment paper, and bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes.

Royal Frosting (adapted from  this recipe)

Here’s what you need:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 teaspoons milk
3 teaspoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
food coloring

Here’s what you do:
Whisk powdered sugar to get rid of any large clumps. Add in milk, corn syrup and almond extract – whisk until combined and smooth. Scoop frosting into a ziplock bag and add a few drops of food coloring – smoosh bag together until color is uniform. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag to pipe frosting onto cookies.

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