Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jeweled Ornament Sugar Cookies | 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap


Happy Holidays Everyone!  Honestly it is hard to fathom that it is already that time of the year.  For me baking cookies during this time of year is a natural activity and brings such joy to see the looks and reactions to folks faces when they receive them.  Speaking of cookies, it is time for the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  I have been excited to be participate for since the inception and we are able to part of giving back by supporting a national non-profit called Cookies for Kid’s Cancer through simply being involved in the great cookie swap. I can’t think of a better event than one that involves delicious cookies and being able to help others.  To learn more about particpating in the event for 2014, simply click here.

(Click "Read More" below to continue post)




Each year, I ponder the ever important question – “What cookie will I make for this year’s swap?”  The first year I made Chocolate Dipped Gingerbread Biscotti’s and last year I went over the top to create Holiday Checkerboard Cookies, so I knew the bar was high for 2013.  Luckily, the idea for my Jeweled Ornament Sugar Cookies came to me in early November while shopping at Williams Sonoma.  They sell the most beautiful jewel colored sanding sugars and just begged to be adorned a top some delicious sugar cookies. 


My next quest was to hunt down the perfect ornament cookie cutter which proved to be a bit more challenging than anticipated.  I had a certain ornament shape in mind and simply could not locate it – darn – don’t you hate it when something you picture in your mind, just simply doesn’t exist?  I did however; find a close second which proved to work out beautifully.  Now that I am not looking, I will probably find the one I envisioned. Smile.


My matches were sent to me and I was quite thrilled to send them my creations.  I only wish that I could have been a fly on the wall to see their reactions.  I can only hope that they were thrilled and enjoyed them to pieces.  In fact, I wanted to add a bit of personalization to each box, so I adorned a 13th cookie with each of their first initials to make the presentation even that more special.  I had the pleasure of sharing my baked delights with Nicole from 350 Preheat, Ashley from Cookin’ in Heels and Shanna from Pineapple and Coconut.  All lovely blogs and when you have a few minutes; be sure to check them out.  I know I want to see what cookies they made and sent.


Speaking of special, were the 3 dozen cookies that were sent to me.  First to arrive was from Erica from Sun and Good Eats.  She sent these extremely tasty Caramel and Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies – they simply melted in your mouth and I need to make some soon.  Second to show up at my office were Pepparkokor Cookies which are traditional Swedish Ginger Cookies from Amanda from Amanda K by the Bay.  They were simply addictive that I found myself eating one after another until I thought I better put the lid on the container and share with hubby.  Last but certainly not least a large tin of traditional Gingerbread Men Cookies arrived and were from Jenn from Not Starving Yet.  My office thanks Jenn since they devoured the entire tin and were quite happy.


I am excited to be featured in the latest edition Foodie Crush Magazine from Heidi. I have long admired her creative prowess and to be part of it is a true thrill!  Please click here to see this beautiful publication.  I want to sincerely wish all of my readers the most joyous holiday season that is filled with great food, fun, family, friends and health! Huge Smile!


Jeweled Ornament Sugar Cookies

Makes approximately 3 Dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Beat the butter until softened, add sugar, egg, flour, salt and almond extract and mix until combined. Chill dough for 1-2 hours. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface until it is 1/4-inch thick. Use ornament shaped cookie cutters (mine were about 3 inches) to cut out the dough and place the cookies 2-inches apart onto cookie sheets lined with parchment or silpats. 

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 7-9 minutes.

Royal Icing

1 pounds confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup water, plus more if needed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon meringue powder 
Gel-paste food coloring (optional)

Beat sugar, water, and meringue powder with a mixer on low speed until smooth. (If icing is too thick, slowly add more water, beating to desired consistency. If icing is too thin, continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes more.) Add food coloring if desired - a drop at a time, until desired color is reached; if making more than 1 color, divide icing and work in batches. Icing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. 

Use a round tip to pipe along the edges then fill in with royal icing and smooth with a knife if needed.  Sprinkle with desired candy sprinkles.  Mine were from Williams Sonoma.


29 comments:

  1. Your cookies are absolutely stunning! I bet whoever you sent these to for the swap felt very very lucky!

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    1. Thank you so much! It just makes me smile making others happy thru baking.

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  2. These are absolutely GORGEOUS, Lisa! Like, I would want to hang them on my tree instead of eating them. :)

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    1. Thank you SO much Lindsay! Love the swap and look forward to next year! Thanks again to you and Julie for all of your hardwork putting this event on!

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  3. These are so beautiful!!! I love how gorgeous they are and how simple they are at the same time! So glad you joined in on the cookie swap this year!

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    1. Thank you Julie! It is my 3rd year and look forward to next year. A big shout out to you and Lindsay for all of the hard work you put into orchestrating this event.

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  4. Lisa, are those cookies gorgeous, or what?!? Just this morning I was talking with my girl Lilah about which x-mas treats we wanted to make this year. She would freak over your beautiful cookies. I'm inspired!
    Wishing you and your family the best holidays as well. xoxoE

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    1. Thank you Erin! I appreciate the kind words. I actually love when little kids get excited about cookies. Happy, Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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  5. Gorgeous cookies, Lisa! I love the shape. :D

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    1. Thank you Valerie! Hope your holiday season is going great.

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  6. What a gorgeous cookie! I wish you could have gotten my name!

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    1. Thank you SO much! Wouldn't that have been fun if I had your name.

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  7. Lisa, these cookies are like jewels! I especially love the monogrammed touch!

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    1. Thank you Liren! It was so much fun to do the monogram touch - just wish I could have been a fly on the wall and see their reactions.

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  8. Gorgeous cookies Lisa! Love the jewels, the ornament cookie cutter and your packaging -way to have fun and make a few lucky people very happy ;)

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    1. It was so much FUN dreaming it up and then doing the actual baking! Can't wait to see you on Saturday!

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  9. These cookies are beautiful. I usually don't like to fuss with icing and decoration - but your designs are so creative. I bet it's very therapeutic.

    I made Soft-Baked Gingersnap Molasses Cookies, 3 Ways for my Cookie Swap recipe. First timer, but I can’t wait to do it again next year. Happy baking!

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    1. Thank you and I appreciate you stopping by! It is such a fun event and glad that you participated. I visited Chicago for the first time in June and love it. Your cookies sound amazing!

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  10. These are just gorgeous, Lisa! I love the jeweled toppings! Congrats on your feature in Foodie Crush - so fun!

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    1. Thank you Laura - coming from the baking queen that means alot! Smile!!!

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  11. Your ornament cookies are so pretty and I love how you put a monogram on them. I know your recipients were thrilled.

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    1. Thank you Karen! The monogram was such a fun surprize.

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  12. Wow.. These look so gorgeous and perfect.. great job :)

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  13. What beautiful cookies, I bet the recipients of these were thrilled I know I would love them.

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  14. Lovely cookies! I love how you decorated them. I found three ornament shaped Wilton metal cookie cutters at Walmart last week and can't wait to use them!! :) Two of them were shaped like the old fashioned ones. :) And they were only 75 cents Found you via a cookie recipe I had "pinned." ;).

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and the nice note! I will have to pop over to Walmart - thanks for the tip!

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  15. Such lovely cookies Lisa. I know that anyone who would be the recipient of such a treat would be thrilled! Pinned!

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