3/2/19 Update – I finally got around to shooting a video for these.
Soft, delicious and oh so good. These cookies hold their shape and stand up well to shipping, but still have a soft texture. I also included my favorite icing recipe that gives you that perfect shiny gloss.
- 2 Sticks (1 C) of salted butter, softened not melted
- 1 Cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 Cups Pillsbury® all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Food coloring (I use gel food coloring, but liquid drops work too)
- Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees
- Put the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth
- In a separate bowl sift together (or stir well with a fork) the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir this mix of dry ingredients (adding a about a 1/2 cup at a time) into the butter mixture until all ingredients are combined.
- Divide the dough into two parts. Press each ball of dough between plastic wrap or waxed paper into a sheet about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Put the covered sheets in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. (I make the icing while the dough is cooling).
- Remove one sheet of dough from the refrigerator. Dust a flat surface with flour and roll out the sheet of of dough to about 1/4 of an inch thick. Use some festive cookie cutters to cut out shapes of your choice. Any scraps can be rolled out again to cut more cookies. Repeat with the second sheet of dough.
- Place cookies on an un-greased baking sheet. TIP: I use a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet. The cookies slide right off. You can find parchment paper near plastic wrap and aluminum foil at most stores.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes in the pre-heated oven, until the edges just barely start to turn light brown.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Put sugar, milk, corn syrup and almond extract in a medium mixing bowl. Stir with a spoon.
- For piping the borders, it should be about as thick as toothpaste. If it is too thick, add a little more milk and stir. If it is too thin, at more powdered sugar.
- For flooding/filling inside the borders, it should be about as thick as heavy cream. It should pour slowly, but spread out easily. If it is too thick, add a little more milk and stir. If it is too thin, at more powdered sugar.
- Once mixed, slowly add coloring of your choice until you get the desired level of color. I usually make several batches in different colors.
- I let the cookies set out for 6-8 hours so the icing will firm up before attempting to stack them. For more decorating tips, check out my post on that here.
TIP: You can use a sandwich bag (the kind that zips closed) as a makeshift pastry bag to pipe the icing on the cookies. Open a bag and push the bottom into a drinking glass. Fold the top of the bag over the top of the glass to hold it open. Poor the icing into the bag. Take the bag out of the glass, remove the air from the bag and seal it. Using a pair of scissors, cut a very small piece off the bottom corner of the bag. You can control the flow of the icing by the amount of pressure you use when you squeeze the bag.
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