Posts Tagged ‘cookies’


What better way to welcome the holidays than with a tray of homemade and colorfully decorated cookies?  Here we give you drying Christmas cookies made by Laurel, our daughter-in-law, and Clara Grace, our beautiful granddaughter with intermittent help from Alexander, our grandson.  All of us whose work appears on the blog – either in word or design – send to each of our readers best wishes for a holiday season filled with joy and laughter and hope for only goodness to be found in the coming year.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Kwanza, and Joyous Boxing Day are but a few of our wishes.  For those of you who celebrate none of these holidays may I send a biblical blessing that I believe is nondenominational “unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all of the earth, Peace be multiplied unto you”.


Cut-out Cookies for Decorating


Makes about 4 dozen, depending upon the size

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Small piece of vanilla bean, ground

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup whole milk

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Decorative Icing (recipe follows)


Combine the sifted flour with the vanilla bean, baking powder, and salt in the sifter.  Set aside.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle.  Beat on low to combine; then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and creamy, occasionally scraping the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat to blend.  Alternately add the milk and the flour mixture beating to make a soft dough.

Scrape the dough down and remove the bowl from the stand.  Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until the dough has firmed.

About 20 minutes before ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Line 2 cookie sheets with silicon liners or parchment paper.  Set aside.

Lightly dust a clean, flat, cool work surface with confectioners’ sugar.  (You can use flour, preferably Wondra, but the end result will be a drier cookie).

Working with about one quarter of the dough at a time and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to circle about ⅛-inch thick.  Cut out into desired shapes using cookie cutters made for this purpose.  If you wish to use the cookies as hanging decorations, use a small skewer to make a small hole about ¼-inch from the top of each cookie.

Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about ½- inch between each one.

Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until just barely colored around the edges and set in the middle.

Remove from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool before icing.

Cover and decorate with Decorative Icing as you wish.


Decorative Icing

1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Pinch salt

1 large egg white

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, strained

Food coloring of choice


Combine the sugar with the salt in a small mixing bowl.  Add the egg white and lemon juice and, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat until smooth.

If you wish only one icing color, add the food coloring drop by drop until you get the shade you desire.  For a variety of colors, divide the icing as you wish into small bowls and mix each color individually.

Use quickly as the icing will begin to set.  It is a good idea to cover each bowl with plastic film as you work to lessen the chance of a film forming on top.  If the icing does set or get too thick, add cool water, only a drop at a time.


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