Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

The final cookie recipe in the series I made this Christmas is finally here. I know! I'm pretty uber excited myself.

You can click on the names of the other cookies to go to their respective post and get the recipe. They are: Cream Cheese Spritz , Almond Cookies rolled in Coconut or cut into bars, Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Marshmallow Frosting (my favorite on the trays), Kitchen Sink Cookies (awesome because they can use up all the extra candy and whatnot in the kitchen), and Chewy Crinkly Molasses Cookies. Click HERE to see the finished gift.

Ingredients:

1 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 c flour, plus extra
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

 Start by creaming your butter & sugar until fluffy. Incorporate the eggs, and then add the almond & vanilla extracts. Sift together the flour, soda, powder & salt. Slowly add until just blended. Divide the dough in two and chill 2 hours. Roll the cold dough to 1/4 inch thick and then stamp out your selected shapes. These bake quickly, taking only 4-5 minutes in a 400 F oven. If you've got it, definitely use parchment paper on the trays to ease them off; otherwise loosen with a thin spatula as soon as they come out of the oven to prevent sticking. Place the cookies 2 inches apart.

Frosting:

2 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp almond or vanilla extract
food coloring

Mix the first 4 ingredients until smooth and of the desired consistency. Divide into 5 or 6 portions and use the food coloring to achieve your preferred color. Don't forget to leave one white.

You can use ziploc bags if you don't have pastry bags. If the icing is too hard to squeeze, add a couple drops of milk to thin it and then try again. While working, for ease of use and to minimize the mess, use glasses to hold the icing bags.
Hold the weight of the bag in your right hand, from the top. Use that hand to squeeze out a steady stream and be careful to keep the end twisted tight so the icing doesn't fall out the wrong side. Use your left hand to steady the tip of the bag & guide how the icing is applied.

This is a simple flat icing that is easy to make & control and will dry to a hard matte finish. It isn't too brittle when it's dry, and the addition of flavoring (vanilla) makes it taste pretty good too.
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