Michigan: It's America's high-five. Michigan: It makes an awesome hug (you know what I'm talking about, Bjoern!). Michigan: Surrounded by lakes and home of many wonderful people and smiling faces. Did you also know that it makes one cute cookie?
I first got the idea to send "Michigan" care packages off to "Michigan" people scattered across the country a few weeks ago. Lucky me, I got a set of Michigan cookie cutters for graduation. Of course there would have to be some Maize and Blue in the package, some sort of baked good (what can I say, I spoil my friends!) and a letter. Side note: have I mentioned HOW many letters I've been writing this summer? I love it! And I love getting actual mail!
Now back to your regularly scheduled program... I decided to combine two into one - Michigan shaped cookies in Michigan colors! I'm a genius, you don't need to tell me. I sent four packages out (flat rate shipping boxes are amazing for this sort of thing): to Zenka in San Diego, Bjoern in Houston, Jake T in Washington DC and one to two LV's, Sam and Alex, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in California (or that's where they were when they got the package). Sadly, according to Bjoern, his package never got to him, so I wrote him a nice long letter tonight instead. And if you're reading this Bjoern, I'm sending out more baked goods next week. This time you WILL get it.
This is my all-time favorite sugar cookie recipe. The almond and lemon are perfectly balanced and the cookie is fluffy but still holds its shape when baked. Is there anything else you could ask for? Word to the wise, don't try to start piping royal icing at midnight. I didn't go to bed until 2 am and still had to remake blue royal icing and re-pipe all the cookies the next morning (the icing wasn't high enough for flooding).
Thank you to all my friends and family who made my experience at the University of Michigan such a wonderful one and even if you didn't get a care package, know I would have sent you one if I had the money to do so!
- 1 1/2 c. butter
- 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 5 c. flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Parchment Paper, for rolling
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly. Add vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.
- Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time. Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.
- Chill dough for 30 minutes in fridge. After chilled, divide the dough into two balls and roll out each one between two pieces of parchment paper. Once dough is at about a ⅓ of an inch thickness, freeze the sheets of dough for about 20 minutes. Remove from freezer and cut out shapes. Re-roll dough and re-freeze. Repeat. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes. Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.
- 1 egg white
- 1 & 5/8 cups of powdered sugar
- a few splashes of lemon juice
- food coloring
- Beat together egg white and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form and the icing is shiny.
- Add in lemon juice and continue beating. Beat in food coloring.
- Either pipe icing or spread on cookies.