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Sugar Cookies

These cookies were sent off in a cookie jar as a house-warming gift to one of my best friends. Do you think she liked them?
Everyone likes to get something in the mail. A magazine is nice, a letter is nicer and a package is just about as good as it gets. After doing a little food exchange with Jessica, as I mentioned before, it dawned on me that it would be a good idea to see if any other bloggers (or readers) were interested in doing a little foodie exchange. I’m calling it Blogging By Mail.
Within a certain time frame, send a homemade treat or a favorite food item to another participant. We’re not talking about anything big here: a jar of jam, a few homemade cookies, a local or regional specialty…. On the scheduled date, post about your experience and I’ll do a little roundup here.

To participate, e-mail me with your mailing address (subject: Blogging By Mail) by July 1st. On that date, I’ll send you someone’s address and you can ship them off your package. Post about your experience on July 31st and I’ll do a roundup shortly thereafter. I know it’s a big time frame, but we have to allow for mailing, cooking and orgazational time. It’ll be worth it: new friends, new foods and mail that isn’t a bill!

As requested (and as it’s an excellent point!), be sure to mention anything that you’re deathly alergic to in your e-mail that way I can pass on the information.

Note: Blogging by Mail is over. We are not accepting any more participants at this time.

These cookies are neither etremely chewy nor extremely crunchy. They have a nice melt-in-your-mouth type texture that lasts for days, which is why I chose to mail them up to my friend. The shortening gives them their puff and the butter gives them more flavor and moisture. If you use all butter the cookies will be chewier.
I used vanilla sugar, so you can see some of the vanilla beans in my cookies above. The flavor will still be great with just vanilla extract because the little bit of almond really gives it a boost!

Mailable Sugar Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
10 tbsp butter, room temperature
4 tbsp shortening, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract

1/2 cup sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening and sugar for 1 minute, until smooth and light. Beat egg, vanilla and almond extracts until fully incorporated. Stir in flour mixture.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet and press lightly to flatten.

Bake 9-10 minutes at 375F. Cookies should not brown more than a tiny bit around the edges.

Remove to wire rack after 2 minutes.

Makes 50 2-inch cookies.

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  • Jennifer
    June 18, 2005

    I love this idea! Count me in.

  • Clare Eats
    June 19, 2005

    Good show old chap πŸ˜‰

  • Andrea
    June 19, 2005

    They are lovely! I want to be in the kitchen making these now too. It’s fantastic to read your posts so often.

  • Nic
    June 19, 2005

    Thanks Jennifer and Clare. Now just wish me luck with the organization!

    Dreska – Thanks, sometimes I suprise myself with how many I get other. I do bake quite a lot, though.

  • Melissa
    June 19, 2005

    I think this idea sounds like lots of fun! Thanks Nic, I’m in!

  • farmgirl
    June 19, 2005

    I’m always looking for cookies that will still be tasty after several days. These look scrumptious. Thanks for sharing!

  • Nic
    June 19, 2005

    Melissa – Great! I’m glad that people are enthused.

    farmgirl – I like it when I know what I’m getting from a cookie, whether it’s freshly baked or a few days old. Crispy cookies that get soft aren’t fun, and neither are chewy ones that get hard.

  • farmgirl
    June 19, 2005

    Re Blogging By Mail. What a fun idea; I’ve already signed up. But I was just wondering. . . do you think maybe everyone should note one thing they cannot stand or cannot eat or are deathly allergic to (like nuts)? More work for you, I know, but a thought. . . wouldn’t want someone to receive their goodies and have to give them away!

  • stef
    June 19, 2005

    oh, this sounds lovely and a lot of fun. pity i can’t sign up because we’re leaving in july, but i can’t wait to read about the results (and recipes!) great idea!

  • Liz
    June 19, 2005

    What a fantastic idea Nic! I’d love to participate.

    I’ll be a bit nervous though, I remember one year I got a batch of cookies from a friend at work and there was a dog hair in one. Not the end of the world, I still ate the cookies.

    Okay so no one else was probably thinking that, I’m a bit odd.

  • Nic
    June 19, 2005

    Farmgirl – Good Point. I updated my post.

    Stef – Too bad! But if it goes well, perhaps we’ll try and do another one.

    Liz – I think part of the rules will to be to attempt to keep your gift free of pet hair. But I don’t think we’ll have any problems!

  • Liz
    June 19, 2005

    It’s possible that some of the thoughts going through my head should not be written down. :o) I’ll make sure my cat is out of the kitchen at all times! :o)

    Nic I wanted to let you know that I tagged you for the cookbook meme. The link to my answers is here http://www.trufflemutt.com/trufflemutt/2005/06/tag_youre_it.html

    I look forward to reading your post!

  • the baker
    June 20, 2005

    those are some lovely sugar cookies. i’m sure the vanilla sugar you used made them taste better. yum. oh and ya i’ve just emailed you… i’m in for the ‘blogging by mail’ thingie. it’s gonna be loads of fun! can’t wait =)

  • Ana
    June 20, 2005

    Itis a lovely idea and the cookies you baked look scrumptious.

    Unfortunately I will pass on the Blogging By Mail this time. I’m so busy with my yard I don’t want to get myself into too many things and then have difficulty delivering.

    Can I take a rain-cheque?

  • Stephanie
    June 20, 2005

    I’m definitely in…and I’ve sent an email.

  • Nic
    June 20, 2005

    Liz – Thanks, I’ll get it up soon.
    Baker – You can never have enough vanilla. I love the stuff more than chocolate, I think.
    Anne – If it’s a success (and how could it not be), maybe we can have another round soon!
    Stephanie – Fantastic. The more the merrier.

  • galinusa
    June 21, 2005

    International (i.e. non-US) bloggers welcome? πŸ™‚

  • Nic
    June 21, 2005

    Oh yes, of course international bloggers are welcome!

  • Samantha
    June 21, 2005

    What a fun idea Nic, I’ve sent an email along. Looking forward to this great swap! And those sugar cookies look great, remind me of a Cook’s Illustrated recipe I saw at some point. πŸ™‚

  • cookie jill
    June 25, 2005

    hmmmm…..interesting! πŸ˜‰

  • linda
    June 29, 2005

    must resist swapping… O dammit, I can’t. Another international here…

  • McAuliflower
    July 9, 2005

    Thanks Nic- just got my package!

  • Teresa
    July 10, 2005

    Those cookies are gorgeous! I’m going to try this recipe, thanks.

  • deccanheffalump
    July 21, 2005

    What a lovely idea.Sadly no International blogging by Mail but it is a great way to get friends and fellow bloggers from near and fairly far to join in tasting homemade goodies.

  • Nic
    July 21, 2005

    Actually, about 50 percent of the participants in this first edition of Blogging By Mail were not from the US. It was very international!

  • Kelli
    July 24, 2005

    What a great idea! I love getting fun mail. I can’t wait to read the round-up.

  • Elise
    August 18, 2005

    Nic – do you have any suggestions on mailing cookies? I want to send some to my friend at school… she’s back in dorms with bad food already, and I’m still at home. Thanks!

  • Nic
    August 18, 2005

    Elise – Pick cookies that you have made and stored before. You want something that won’t dry out (or get mushy!) in a few days in the mail, especially considering that campus mail services are often slow. Chewy cookies, like oatmeal raisin, and firm ones, like these or shortbread, will ship well. Don’t mix and match multiple textures of cookies. I pack them in airtight tupperware containers and use crumpled up paper towels or plastic wrap to fill any big gaps so they don’t move around too much.
    Honestly, though, if it’s only two days in the mail, most cookies will hold up pretty well.

  • Elise
    August 20, 2005


  • Melissa CookingDiva
    January 12, 2006

    The sugar cookies look delicious, thanks for the recipe! I have read so many anecdotes about the previous BBM that I have signed up for BBM4. Happy New Year from Panama! Hugs,

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    March 15, 2008

    several ages thereafter. There were silver coins in England in the time of Of these four parts, three – provisions, materials, and finished work, are

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