Monday, December 5, 2011

Cookie Time Again

This year, I have promised K we can make a gingerbread house. To say that I am nervous about it would be an understatement. So in the meantime, I'm making up a batch of my favorite shortbread dough, which we use for cut out holiday cookies, to keep on hand in case our house has construction issues.

The recipe we use is from the Cookie Swap book, which I have mentioned here before. I've included some photos of earlier projects below. Like always, we modified the original recipe, in this case substituting almond extract for the ground almonds in the recipe as K had insisted that nuts would "make the recipe gross." I expect that I could add them back in at this point, but I am more likely to have the extract in the house than almonds anyway. I also flavor the royal icing we use with either almond or vanilla extract to add a but more flavor.
The original recipe can be found on the Kitchen Musings blog.

Last year

Slightly less traditional colors

Same dough, set up for a cookie decorating party.


Makes about 2 1/2 dozen (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inch cookie). We often make 2 batches.

2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium to medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually add the flour mixture, blending just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or until firm enough to roll without sticking.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two or more cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters of your choice. Carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 1-inch apart.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom and firm to the touch. Immediately transfer to wire racks with offset spatula to prevent breakage. Cool completely before frosting.

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