Well, strangely (and pathetically enough) the answer to both questions was not readily obvious to me. In fact, I couldn't remember or think of either one. So - now that that embarassing detail is out of the way, I guess it is a good thing y'all throw these virtual parties so that I still get to socialize sans-baby and kindergartener. OK, maybe people just don't like me and I am a downer at parties - I don't know - but I'm going to blame it on always being in mommy-land and not that I am completely lame - please excuse me now - my insecurity is showing. ANYWAY...
Actually, I did finally think of the last "party" I really went to and it was a wedding shower. This got me thinking about what the standard things that are always at the wedding and baby showers I attend. One thing that immediately came to mind was frosted sugar cookies - not glamorous, but I think they are usually quite pretty and who doesn't love them? I can't actually remember a party recently that I've gone to where there weren't frosted sugar cookies.
I found this version over at Leigh Ann's blog (great blog!) that was found for her by Melanie (another fantastic blog!) and had to give it a try - Leigh Ann's description of the method, flavor and everything sounded just too perfect to pass up. An almond flavored cookie with no chilling, no rolling, no waiting. I have admitted it here before, but my favorite treats are pretty much the ones that are instant gratification - I love making the more complex treats for their own wonderful attributes - but with kids in the house (me included) it is nice to have great treats that there isn't a lot of waiting til I get to eat them - ummm, I mean WE get to eat them.
So, were they all they were cracked up to be...? Yes actually. To give you an idea of the level of love there was for these cookies at our house - well, Aidan (the kindergartner / chocolate lover in the house) turned down a Chocolate Peanut Butter Chipster because he wanted another one of these Almond Sugar Cookies - in fact, both times when faced with the "you can only have one" choice he negotiated straight for these cookies. Thanks to Leigh Ann and Melanie for the recipe! I can't wait to try these again with other flavors - I see vanilla, orange, lemon, raspberry, and lime, and snickerdoodle in my future to start with - seriously, I think this recipe would be amazing in any flavor).
They truly are delicious so I wouldn't hestitate to take them to a party - virtual or real. So, I am sending these over to Susab for her blogiversary! Happy Blogiversary SGCC!
Almond Glazed Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Combine butter, sugar and almond extract in a large mixing bowl, beat until creamed - about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat 1 to 2 minutes more. Scoop the dough into balls and roll (should be about 1 inch). Roll in sugar and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and flatten balls to 1/4 inch thickness with the bottom of a glass.
Bake at 400 for 7-9 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Cool 1 minute more to set then move the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
4-5 tsp. whipping cream
Stir together glaze ingredients with a wire whisk. Decorate cooled cookies with glaze and sliced almonds (optional).