Almond Sand Dollar Cookies are crunchy, buttery treats that look remarkably like a treasured beachcombing find. A few sliced almonds and cutout holes are such an easy way to decorate these almond flavored cutout cookies. A batch of Almond Sand Dollar Cookies is sure to fill your cookie jar or care package with thoughts of ocean waves and toes in the sand.
My family’s favorite vacations have involved the beach. The sound of the ocean is so calming and restorative, especially when we are escaping a Midwest winter! Though my kids did try boogie boarding in Hawaii years ago, we usually spend more time on the sand than in the water. Shelling is my favorite beach activity and I have bowls full of shells as a result. My daughter used her shell collection to fill the glass cylinder bases of two table lamps. Now she has a constant, happy reminder of Sanibel Island in her living room.
This month I “adopted” a new deployed troop through Soldiers’ Angels, a female sailor this time! The first things I do after “adopting” a troop are write a quick hello email, send a toiletries package from the Soldiers’ Angeles online store, and send a box of coffee from Community Coffee (Their military program doubles any order sent to military addresses for free!). Then I come up with a theme for my first homemade care package for my new service member. Thinking of Sailor A. out on a huge ship on a huge ocean, made me think that maybe she would enjoy a little sand with all of that water. I decided to send her a “Seas the Day!” beach-in-a-box. Sailor A. won’t have to beachcomb for her Almond Sand Dollar Cookies!
Almond Sand Dollar Cookies are made with desert safe ingredients, to stand up to high summer temperatures with the least possibility of spoilage. This includes using Crisco vegetable shortening instead of butter. If you have any doubts about using Crisco in a cookie, you should know what my taste testers all said.
Because these cookies contain almonds and I am allergic to all tree nuts, I couldn’t taste them. Almonds are the one tree nut I can bake with without an allergic reaction, but I can’t eat them. So I took a bag full of cookies with me to the dog park. Not for the dogs. (Dogs are lousy taste testers because they love everything!) I shared the Almond Sand Dollar Cookies with my human friends. As they nibbled bits of cookie, I questioned. I asked about texture, sweetness, amount of flavoring. I asked for comparison between two different cookies. Every person I asked preferred the Crisco cookie over the butter cookie without knowing what the different ingredients were. They said the Crisco cookie was less dry and had a better crunch. Most importantly, they all said that Almond Sand Dollar Cookies are delicious.
If an oceanside retreat isn’t possible, you can still bring a bit of the beach to your cookie jar or care package with Almond Sand Dollar Cookies. These light, crunchy cookies are sure to create smiles with their looks and flavor!
Stay tuned for details on the rest of the Seas the Day care package contents in my next Monday Box post.
You may also enjoy these treats that conjure up the feeling of a day at the beach:
- 1 cup butter flavored vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-4 teaspoons water, as needed
- TO DECORATE:
- 120 pieces sliced almonds
- 3-4 tablespoons sparkling or granulated sugar, for decorating
- 2 pieces ( 2” each) cut from pastic drinking straws, one plastic regular straw and one plastic smoothie straw
- 1 toothpick
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar.
- One at a time, beat in egg, almond extract, baking powder and salt.
- Gradually add in the flour. If the dough is dry and crumbly, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball. If the dough is too soft to work with, refrigerate for one hour to firm.
- Working with one half of the dough at a time, roll out the dough to ¼” thickness between two sheets of wax paper.
- Use a 2 ½” circle cookie cutter to cut out dough circles. Place the circles 2” apart on the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all of the dough has been rolled out and cut into circles.
- Press 5 almond slices onto the center of each cookie, like the petals on a flower.
- Use the pieces of plastic straw like cookie cutters. Press the bottom of the smoothie straw into the dough to create a hole between two of the almonds. Insert the toothpick into the straw to dislodge the dough cutout. Press the bottom of the small straw into the cookie making 2 holes on each side of the larger hole.
- When all of the cookies are decorated with almonds and holes, sprinkle with sparkling or granulated sugar.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden. Remove from the oven. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for at least 2 weeks.