The Sweetest New Year’s Resolution

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Get more sleep. Save for retirement. Eat less carbs. Floss more. In the past, my list of New Year’s resolutions consisted of things that you might find scrawled across a Lululemon bag.

Not anymore. I’ve given up on the enumerated list. In 2016, I’m focusing on the one area of my life that will have the most  profound and lasting affect on my happiness: the relationships I have with people in my life. This idea was inspired by Robert Waldinger TED talk called “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness. In this talk, Waldinger elaborates on the need for positive relationships and how these impact the quality of our lives. The more positive relationships you have, the happier and more fulfilled you are–it’s that simple.  Don’t believe me? Waldinger has over 75 years of research on this topic to prove it!  

With this New Year’s resolution in mind, I set out to meet up with Angela Estes, owner of Three50Bakes (one of San Diego’s finest baking companies) who also happens to be one of my best friends. Even though we only see each other a few times a year, whenever we get together it’s just like the old days where we used to stay up late, giggling for hours while designing elaborate cookie sculptures out of dough. Angela has always been so creative with her culinary creations – it’s so inspiring to see her turn her passion into a career.

So, what did our day in Angela’s kitchen look like? What cookies did we make and more importantly, how can you make some?

Grab a friend and read on to learn how to make The Best Sugar Cookies ever! Recipe below.

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We decided that writing inspiring friendship quotes on the cookies would be the best way to express the appreciation we have for one another and other friendships in our lives. And most importantly, laugh.

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The Best Sugar Cookies Ever  

Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen):

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

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Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and set aside. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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Add eggs and extracts and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until you have a smooth dough.

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Divide dough in half, form into disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour or until firm enough to roll. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

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On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 1/4″. Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and place on baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to lightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool on baking on sheets for a few minutes before moving onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost and decorate with your favorite icing and toppings.

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Cookies by Angela Estes / Three50Bakes, San Diego, Ca.  Follow Three50Bakes on Facebook, Instagram #three50bakes, and Twitter.  Photos by Regan Russell.

What’s your favorite cookie recipe? 

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