Sunday, January 16, 2011

Christmas Cookies

If you have children, these are very fun cookies to make with them during Christmas. I am a little bummed that I did not get a photo of them finished with the icing. Once they were decorated I put them on top of each other to store them. They all got stuck together - which was fine for eating, not so fine for picture taking. :( If you make these definitely do not store them on top of each other unless you have put some parchment/wax paper in between the layers first. After you bake these cookies and they cool you can decorate them more with white icing. I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman's cooking site. You can check out what they would look like iced by clicking here.

2/3 cups Shortening
3/4 cups Sugar
1/2 teaspoons Grated Orange Or Lemon Zest (I have made these cookies twice and prefer the lemon zest over the orange)
1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 whole Egg
4 teaspoons Milk
2 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoons Salt

1 whole Egg Yolk
1 teaspoon Water
2 drops (to 3) Food Coloring

1 bag 2 Lb Powdered Sugar
1/4 cups Milk
2 Tablespoons Egg White (optional and I left this out)

Cream shortening, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla thoroughly. Add in egg and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the milk and mix.

Sift dry ingredients together, then blend into cream mixture. Divide dough in half, slightly flatten between two sheets of waxed paper, then refrigerate for one hour (or freeze for 20 minutes).

While dough is chilling, combine egg yolk, water and food coloring to make the egg yolk glaze.

We made purple, red, blue and green but you can make whatever colors you like.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface and cut into shapes with a cookie cutters. Transfer shapes to lightly greased cookie sheet and paint cookies (with a soft brush) with egg yolk glaze.

This is such a fun baking project for kids! I think you could make these for any holiday. Valentine's Day, Easter - or just any time you want to make sugar cookies.

After brushing with egg yolk glaze, bake at 375 degrees for approximately 6 minutes. Do not allow the cookies to brown. You only want them to puff up. 6 minutes was perfect for my cookies.

While cookies are baking, mix powdered sugar, milk and egg whites (which are optional) to make the decorative icing. Remove cookies from oven to a wire rack to cool. Then, using a pastry bag or Ziploc bag, pipe with white icing to decorate.

Note: when making the white decorative icing, make sure that it is thick and somewhat retains its shape.

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