My husband has been after me to make frosted cutout cookies for at least three weeks now. I have finally given in. It’s not that cutouts are hard to make, it’s just that (1) I am not very gifted at frosting them artistically and (2) I generally make a mess of the entire kitchen. Fortunately, my husband doesn’t really care what they look like. He usually snatches a few out of my hand before the frosting has even had a chance to dry. Unfortunately, I made a mess out of the entire kitchen. Sigh.
Since Hanukkah has officially begun (and since I happen to have Hanukkah cookie cutters and blue food coloring), I decided that Hanukkah cookies were the route to go. I started with a recipe from my trusty BHG cookbook. I have used this recipe for some 25 years and it hasn’t failed me yet.
Rolled Sugar Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (I omit this if I am using salted butter)
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and the butter for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
Add the egg, milk and vanilla and beat well. Add the flour mixture (a little at a time unless you want the mixer to blow it all over the kitchen) beating until well blended. Divide the mixture in half and wrap each half in plastic. Chill for several hours.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8 minutes (silly me--I baked them for 11 minutes in a 350 degree oven--they were fine).
I've tried different kinds of frosting over the years and I find that I like the taste of canned frosting the best (must be the Sandra Lee in me). It doesn't always dry nicely, though. So this time I stirred in a little corn syrup and just a bit of powdered sugar. It worked--it gave it a little more gloss.
Then I sprinkled them with some colored sugar. Someday, I will figure out how to really decorate a cookie. Until then, these will do.