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Love to bake? Get ready for the holidays with the most adorable cookie idea ever! Show how much you love your pet, by putting him or her on a sugar cookie! Or surprise your family or friends this season by gifting them with cookies featuring their favorite four-legged friend. It’s easy to do, and will surely bring a smile to the face of any pet-lover you know!

First, find a good photo of the pet. Next, search the web for a company that will transfer it to edible paper. (Sugarcraft is one company, but there are others.) Finally, make the cookies using the simple recipe below. Couldn’t be easier!

The clever author of this book, and all the recipes within is Anna Ginsberg, a self-taught home cook and grand-prize winner of the 41st Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest and numerous other local and national cooking contests. In this book, she has designed a different cookie recipe for every single day of the year! She’s appreared on the Today show and has cooked onstage with Oprah! Check out her baking adventures on her Cookie Madness blog,

Love Bites Book Cover(Recipe courtesy of  the The Daily Cookie: 365 Tempting Treats for the Sweetest Year of Your Life by Anna Ginsberg. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing; $24.99; Available October 16, 2012)

(Makes 12 cookies)

3 cups (13.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon orange extract
1 large egg

2 large pasteurized egg whites
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon clear or regular vanilla extract, or 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons warm water, or as needed

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center. Line two baking sheets with nonstick foil or parchment paper.

2. Make the cookies: Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and orange extract. Reduce the mixer speed and add the egg, beating just until it’s mixed in. By hand, stir in the flour mixture. The dough should be thick enough to roll at this point, but if it’s not, chill for 1 hour.

3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 3/8 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch-diameter circles and arrange about 2½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Make the Royal Icing: In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and confectioners’ sugar and beat with a handheld electric mixer on low speed or whisk until well blended. Add the vanilla, then add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a consistency that’s thick enough to pipe. Transfer to a decorating bag fitted with a round writing tip or to a zipper bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe circles as neatly as you can around the rim of each cookie. Thin the icing that’s left in the bowl with a little more water. Add to the piping bag and pipe into the center of your circles (the rims will act as dams), spreading until you get a clean white layer. While the icing is still soft, carefully add your photo transfer.

Baker’s Note: Put a photo on a cookie and your cookie will be the belle of the cookie ball, even if all the other cookies are ornately decorated masterpieces. Just ice your sugar cookies with royal icing, peel the edible transfer from its backing, and adhere it to the cookie. / Issue 140 - September 2018
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