Thursday, January 15, 2009

Roll-Out Butter Cookies

When you're hanging out at home with the kids, making these cookies is a great bonding activity.
It gets everyone involved and brings out the creativity in everyone.

Who knows, this could be the start of a family tradition. Just make sure the kids use those kid-friendly plastic cookie cutters and be ready for the mess they will surely make.

To make the decorating part extra special, stock up on a variety of fun cookie decorations like candy sprinkles, nonpareils and colored sugar for everyone to use to their heart's content.

Take lots of pictures of the family in action and don't forget to snap their handiwork. And most important, try to relax. Enjoy!

Here's the recipe:

Roll-Out Butter Cookies

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
5 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups refined sugar
4 large eggs

1. Sift together flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar at medium speed of mixer for 10 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time.
4. At low mixer speed, add half of flour mixture.
5. Transfer dough to table and with the tips of your fingers, very gently knead in the rest of the flour mixture.
(You might have to add a few tablespoons of flour until the dough no longer sticks to the table).
6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
7. Roll out dough onto cookie sheet (Use a plastic sheet or parchment paper on top of dough while rolling). Cut out cookie. Remove trimmings carefully leaving the cut out cookies. Set trimmings aside for re-use.
8. Bake cookies at 325°F for about 20 to 25 minutes.
9. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool before decorating.

Royal Icing

1/3 cup eggwhites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pound sifted confectioner's powdered sugar

Mix everything in a mixer at medium speed for 10 minutes. Color as desired. Ice cookies using spatula or disposable icing bags and decorating tips. Keep icing covered with a damp cloth when not in use to avoid crusting.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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