When I first moved to Texas and started a new job teaching I had no friends and it was pretty rough those first few months. I called my mother every week whining about the lack of friends and how hard it is as an adult to meet people and make connections. Seriously, making friends as an adult is crazy hard. She, of course, had a great idea: Food For Friends!!! I love to cook and I really love to cook for other people so it was really a win win. Every Sunday I would find a new recipe I wanted to try out and each Monday I would bring a tray of baked goodies into the break room. After a few weeks, just like my mother said, I had friends.
This fall we bought a new studio for our business in a whole new town. Winter was long and rough, with soooo much ice, so food for friends was put off until we could cross the road with out slipping on inches of ice. This weekend we put our food for friends campaign into effect. I whipped up the dough in the morning, let it chill while we walked the dogs, and Claire and I spent the afternoon watching cheesy movies and decorating cookies. The next day we wrapped our cookies in parchment paper (a great alternative to plastic wrap), tied the bundles with ribbon and delivered them to all our neighbors.
We love seaweed, as of course you all know so this wasn't just the run of the mill sugar cookie recipe. That would be WAY too boring and how could we introduce people to seaweed with a plain or boring sugar cookie. So of course our sugar cookies were packed full of dulse seaweed. So really if you think about it they are a health food so if you want to eat one, or five, go ahead and feel good about it cause you are getting a big 'ole dose of seaweed in every cookie.
The Greatest Seaweed Sugar Cookie
(a.k.a. the sugar cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour with seaweed instead of salt. When in doubt of a recipe check out www.kingarthurflour.com they are the gold standard for baked goods)
3 sticks of butter
2 cups of sugar
2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
4 teaspoons vanilla extract (or rum, I like rum)
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons dulse flakes
1 teaspoon baking powder
Beat the butter and the sugar together until it's light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one and a time, blending after each egg. Add in the extracts and stir and then the dulse flakes. Make sure the dulse is thoroughly mixed in and distributed, you don't want dulse clumps in your cookies. Add the baking powder and stir (I do this so I only have to clean one bowl), you can also combine the flour, dulse, and baking powder in a separate bowl and then slowly add it into the dough. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Scrape your dough together into a cohesive ball and cover your bowl and place it into the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight. This is the zero waste way of chilling dough instead of wrapping it in plastic wrap.
When your dough is nice and chilled work with 1/4 to 1/3 of your dough, keep the rest in the fridge to chill. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface until its roughly 1/4 inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutters to shape your cookies and bake on a parchment lined tray in a pre-heated oven at 325 F. My oven is finicky and hot so I baked my cookies for 8-9 minutes turning once halfway through. Most people will need to bake these cookies for 10-12 minutes. Until the edges are just starting to take on color. I always over-cook the first batch, don't worry they still taste great.
Once your cookies are completely cooled you can decorate them any way you want. I like to use a lemon glaze (3 cups sifted confectioner sugar, lemon zest from one lemon, and enough milk to make it the consistency you want). The lemon is nice since it brightens up the sweetness of the cookie. You can dip your cookies into the glaze, pipe it if you have pastry bags and tips, or what we do is use the ends of butter knives, forks, and chopsticks to draw out our designs. Yes, our cookies look like they were made by children but that's part of the charm and the fun of making them!