And last, but certainly not least, to complete the Christmas goodies bake-off are cut-out cookies. These are Chris’s cookies. The first year I discovered this recipe, I made a batch and he texted me saying someone broke into the house and ate all the cookies so I’d need to make some more. Thicker, softer cut-out cookies remind me of my grandma’s so, in turn, that’s how I make them, too. I usually make two batches of the dough, roll out the cookies, bake them and then freeze them to frost at a later date. Leah was my helper last night. We had an assembly line of sorts going on. I’d frost and she’d apply the sprinkles. I left them out overnight to allow the frosting to dry thoroughly and then store them in an air-tight container or gift out.
For the cookies:
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
For the icing:
- 2 tbsp. meringue powder
- 1/4 cup water, more to thin out as needed
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and extracts; mix together. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until well combined, scraping down the sides and the bottom. Divide dough into thirds, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Using a 1/3 of the dough at a time, roll onto a lightly floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Place on prepped baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on baking sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, combine the meringue powder and water. In a large bowl, beat until combined and foamy.
Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low to combine. Add in the corn syrup. Increase speed to high and beat for 5 minutes, just until the icing gets glossy and stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat.
Divide icing into different cups and add desired food coloring. If it’s too thick, add additional water to thin out. Frost cookies.
Recipes adapted from: http://www.universityofcookie.com/