More Cut Out Cookie Recipes

SPRING-SHAPED SUGAR COOKIES

You will need:

1 ½ cups butter or margarine, softened

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

finely grated rind of 1 lemon

2 tsp lemon juice

3 cups all purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

Cream butter & sugar; beat in egg, vanilla, lemon rind and lemon juice, then flour and salt until well blended. Divide dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper, wrap and flatten into ¾” thick rounds. Refrigerate dough 1 hour or until firm. Heat oven to 325 degrees. On a floured surface (or between sheets of wax paper that have been dusted with flour), roll the dough to 1/8 to ¼” thickness. Cut out in desired shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets until lightly colored, about 12 minutes. Cool, then decorate. Makes about 3 dozen cookies depending on size.

LEMON STARS

You will need:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

2 TBSP milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups flour

½ tsp salt

Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup frozen thawed lemonade concentrate, undiluted

2 TBSP milk

1 TBSP finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven 350. Stir together butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in flour and salt until mix forms a ball (using your hands works best). Roll out half the dough on a well floured surface; using a 2-3” cookie cutter, cut dough into stars or other desired shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Let cool completely on baking racks, then place rack over parchment paper. Combine all glaze ingredients in a small bowl until well blended; spoon glaze over cookies, letting the excess drip off. Let glaze dry. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Note that these cookies do not contain baking soda or baking powder, so when you cut them into shapes, they should retain the shape while baking. I’ve been going through some of my cookie files searching particularly for cut out cookie recipes that do not contain any leavening agent, such as baking powder or baking soda. Cream of tartar should not affect the shape of cookies. If you are feeling especially ambitious, here is a recipe for powdered sugar icing:

POWDERED SUGAR ICING

You will need:

2 ¼ cups powdered sugar

2 ½ TBSP vegetable oil

1 ½ – 3 TBSP water

¼ tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

food coloring

Beat powdered sugar, oil, 1 ½ tablespoons water, vanilla and pinch of salt until smooth and spreading or piping consistency (icing for spreading should be thinner than for piping. If it’s too thick to work with, add more water). To color:  put portions of icing in small bowls. Stir food coloring into each until icing is desired shade. Icing can be spread on cooled cookies with a knife, painting on with a small paint brush or piped from a decoration bag fitting with a small writing tip.

This reminded me of the cookies I would take to my sons’ Chris & Kelly’s first and second grade classes at Beachy School in Arleta (early 1970s). I would take enough large baked cookies for each child to have one and had them “paint” their cookies with evaporated milk that was divided into small dishes and food color added to each dish. I haven’t thought about this technique in years and will have to look it up to see if it’s still a feasible idea.

Happy baking!

Sandy

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