Summer is the season of picnics and parties. It seems every weekend has at least one on the calendar and it’s booked up FAST–long before summer even officially begins. Not that I’m complaining–I love getting a bit of sunshine and fresh air–but it can be difficult to think up new and exciting goodies to bring when you want to impress while avoiding repeating anything you’ve served before. The pressure!
Luckily, there’s Pinterest. It has become my go-to source for inspiration lately, allowing me to browse randomly (or narrow down the results to a topic) and be able to view a wide variety of options while seeking the right treat. It isn’t perfect–there is a minefield of spam links you have to be aware of, to the point where my husband almost revoked my Pinterest privileges because I kept infecting my laptop–but it’s one of my favorite ways to brainstorm.
Yesterday I had a beach party to bake for and while I was thinking something blueberry at first, since they’re in season now, I came across Sand Dollar Cookies and couldn’t resist. I don’t think I could have found a more perfect fit for the theme if I had tried! They’re basically snickerdoodles with slivered almonds, but they’re absolutely adorable. Placing the almonds will take some time–between batches you’ll be rolling dough in cinnamon sugar and pressing almonds into the dough balls–but it’s mindless work. Easy yet makes a great impression!
Here’s to the summer party season!
Sand Dollar Cookies
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2-1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup 16 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the topping sugar and cinnamon. Pour out your almonds into another small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed for 1 minute.
- Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for 4-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping the sides as needed.
- With the mixer on low, beat in the vanilla extract until just incorporated.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
- With the mixer on medium-low, gradually beat in the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.
- Portion out the dough with a small cookie scoop (the 2-teaspoon size), roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place no more than 8 per cookie sheet--they will spread a bit.
- Flatten each ball with your hand and press in 5 slivered almonds into each in the shape of a star.
- Bake for 8 minutes, or until just baked--you don't want them to color too much.
- Leave on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.