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Prep and Cook Time: about 1 1/2 hours. Notes: Cut these cookies in any shape; decorate them with powdered sugar icing (recipe below) and large-crystal sugar, if you like. Store the cookies airtight (layer iced cookies between sheets of waxed paper) for up to 3 days.

This Story Originally Appeared On sunset.com

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James Carrier

Recipe Summary

Yield:
Makes about 45 2 1/2-inch cookies
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Stir or beat in flour until well blended.

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  • Divide dough in half. Flatten each portion into a 1-inch-thick disk. On a lightly floured board, with a floured rolling pin, roll dough, a portion at a time, to 1/8 inch thick.

  • With floured cookie cutters, cut dough into shapes (if dough is too soft to handle, freeze briefly until firm).

  • With a wide spatula or your fingers, transfer cookies to buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Gather scraps, pat into a ball, and repeat rolling and cutting.

  • Bake cookies in a 300° oven until golden, about 15 minutes; switch pan positions halfway through baking.

  • With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on sheets to firm up, about 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

  • Powdered sugar icing. Controlling consistency of icing is simple. If it's too thick, add a few drops of water; if it's too thin, gradually add more powdered sugar. To tint, add food coloring a few drops at a time.

  • For spreading: In a bowl, stir 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 cup water until smooth. Tint with food coloring as desired. Spread icing onto cool cookies with a metal spatula. Let stand until icing is firm, about 1 1/2 hours. Makes about 1 cup, enough to coat 1 recipe of Favorite Cutout Cookies.

  • For piping: In a bowl, stir 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 1/2 tablespoons water until smooth. Tint with food coloring as desired. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch tip or a heavy 1-quart zip-lock plastic bag. Seal plastic bag and squeeze icing into a corner; cut a tiny opening at corner of bag to squeeze icing out. Let cookies stand until icing is firm, about 5 minutes. Makes about 3/4 cup, enough for 1 recipe Favorite Cutout Cookies.

  • Nutritional analysis is per cookie.

Nutrition Facts

74 calories; calories from fat 54%; protein 0.9g; fat 4.4g; saturated fat 2.6g; carbohydrates 7.8g; fiber 0.2g; sodium 42mg; cholesterol 20mg.
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