Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cut-out Cookies

Cook Time: 12 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 25 to 30



* 6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt


* 2 to 3 tablespoons just-boiled water
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
* Food coloring, preferably pastes
* Special equipment: cookie cutters


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards
moussiness, then beat in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine
the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the
butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished
mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so
sparingly as too much will make the dough tough. Form into a fat disk,
wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1

Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place disk of dough on it, and
sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a
thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into
flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on 2 parchment
or silpat lined baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes; obviously it depends on the shape you're
using and whether they are on the upper or lower shelf, though you can
swap them around after about 5 minutes. When they're ready expect them
to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they'll be softish
still in the middle, but set while they cool.

Remove the cookies with a flat, preferably flexible, spatula to a wire
rack. When they are fully cooled, you can get on with the icing. Put a
couple of tablespoons of not-quite-boiling water into a large bowl,
add the sieved confectioners sugar and mix together, adding more water
as you need to form a thick paste. Color,as desired. I think pastes
are much better than liquid, not just because the range of colors is
better but because they don't dilute the icing as they tint. Ice
cooled cookies, as desired.


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