Chinese New Years Sugar Cookies

I made Chinese New Years cookies last year, which was also my very first time making sugar cookies with royal icing. They weren't my best looking cookies. Now, a year later, I think my cookies look better. I am still improving my skill every day.

The recipe for these cookies, along with the original chinese new year themed cookies
can be found here

You can hopefully tell my piping skills have greatly improved.

I tried to keep all the cookies gold and red. Since thats all I see on red envelopes. I did use a little black and white though.

Year 2013 is the year of the snake. Chinese new year will be on February 10.
I'm very excited for it.

Super Bowl Football Sugar Cookies

I've been pretty busy. I just accepted a giant order to make 2 two-tiered cakes, 3 dozen sugar cookies, and 3 dozen cake pops all due on the same day. Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year all take place around the same time too. The horror. I started the little fondant decorations that will go on both cakes. In the hectic mess, I managed to squeeze out a few cookies for the super bowl this weekend. I'll also be making a trio of dips for the boys. So stressed.

You can tell what team I will be on. =]

These cookies are my basic sugar cookie recipe, which can be found here. The royal icing recipe is also there.

May the best team win!

Almond Bear Claws

I made these bear claws before. It's a little different from the first ones I've made. These ones are just as yummy though.

The main difference is that I sprinkle sugar and almonds on these claws before baking. I also use royal icing instead, because I want the icing to be more crunchy!

3 sticks of cold butter, cubed
5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 package of active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups of half and half
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tps salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup almond paste, cubed
1 Tbs water
Sliced almonds
Royal icing

1. In a large bowl cut the butter into the 5 cups of flour until pea sized crumbs are made. Refrigerate.
2. Heat half and half, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan until 110-115 F. Pour over yeast and mix. Let foam for 5 minutes. Add 1 egg. Mix. (I didn't have half and half. I mixed half heavy cream with half almond milk to make my half and half.)
3. Stir in flour/butter until smooth.
4. On a floured surface, roll into a 21 x 12 in rectangle. Fold into thirds starting at short side forming a 12 x 7 in rectangle.
5. Do a quarter turn, roll into 21 x 12 inch again, fold into thirds.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5.
7. Cover and chill dough for at least 4 hours.
8. In a small bowl, beat only the egg white until foamy. Add almond paste and powdered sugar. Combine until smooth.
9. Cut dough in half. Roll each portion into a 12 inch square.
10. Cut each portion into 9 equal pieces, 18 total. Fill each with a little almond paste mixture.
11. Fold in half, seal edges. Cut into the sealed edge to make bear "claws."
12. Cover, let rise for an hour.

Cut strips to make claws:

After an hour of rising:

13. Beat 1 Tbs water with remaining egg yolk. Brush over each bear claw.
14. Sprinkle with almonds, then sugar.
15. Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
16. Remove to wire rack, cool. Drizzle with royal icing. Add more almonds if desired.
17. Enjoy with coffee or tea =]

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