Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cut Cookies

These are a family favorite that recently went public at a friend's baby shower. They take a lot of work to make them look pretty, but you can ice them in solid colors to simplify things. After all, patterns don't change the taste.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
flour for rolling out dough

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Note - I love the taste of cinnamon and nutmeg, so I always put in slightly heaping teaspons of the spices.
Slowly add the dry mix to wet ingredients.
Wrap dough in waxed paper and freeze for 3-4 hours, or overnight.
Dough can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Let dough thaw slightly.
Sprinkle work surface and rolling pin with flour.
Roll out dough fairly thin for crispy cookies or thicker for chewy cookies. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
Note - We like them less done, so I cook them for 7-8 minutes.
Transfer to cooling racks. When cookies are cool, decorate with icing.
Depending on the size of the cookies, makes 3-4 dozen.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Crisco
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
about 5 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
2-4 tbsp milk
gel food coloring (optional)

Beat together butter and Crisco. Add vanilla.
Alternate adding sugar and milk until desired consistency is reached. If you are planning to pipe the icing, thicker and stiffer consistency is better.
If tinting icing, separate into bowls and add food coloring. Spoon icing into pastry bags and pipe onto cookies.

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