Anticipating that our three-year-old grandchild would be lonely, with grandpa and grandma off to Japan for 25 days, I promised the little girl, “When grandma gets back, we’ll have a doll party!” Her eyes lit up.
Last Thursday, I made good on my pledge, working from early morning until the afternoon of the party, preparing some yummy little tidbits. I washed all the doll dishes (mismatched—maybe I should buy her new ones for Christmas) and set the coffee table in our family room with the tiny plates, cups and utensils.
I cut out stars and circles from bread for little tea sandwiches—ham and cheese, egg salad, and cream cheese and chutney. I made tiny chocolate cupcakes in mini-muffin tins, frosted them with chocolate frosting and decorated with little candy canes.
The week previously, my granddaughter and I had made a batch of spritz cookies in holiday shapes and had set them aside for the doll party. In need of one more cookie to fill out a three-tiered plate rack, I whipped up a batch of almond Snowballs.
This is a wonderful cookie to fill out a sweets table because it uses just a few ingredients and can be made at the spur of the moment, with ingredients most people have on hand. (I always keep an assortment of nuts and several pounds of butter in the freezer.)
These tender cookies are easy to shape and bake. Just roll the dough into 1-inch balls and sift some powdered sugar over the top while the cookies are still warm. I made a dozen or so for the doll party and formed the remaining dough into a log to refrigerate, slice and bake another day.
The invited dolls, Lucy, and Nancy, are both a year old this month. Lucy, an age-appropriate Bitty Baby, was last year’s Christmas gift from grandpa and grandma, and Nancy is a soft cloth doll I made from scratch, by tracing the silhouette of my granddaughter, while she lay flat on the floor.
Before the party was over, we put a candle in each of two cupcakes and sang, Happy Birthday to the two birthday dolls. A good time was had by all.
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts
Heat oven to 350⁰F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until blended. Add salt and flour and beat until a dough forms. Add nuts and beat until incorporated.
Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until very lightly golden.
Let cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to wire rack. Sift powdered sugar over cookies. Cool completely then pack in airtight containers. Makes 4 ½ to 5 dozen.
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