Christmas Eve Cookies

 

This is by far the most delicious decorated cookie I have tried. I had originally used royal icing but wanted the cookies to taste as wonderful as they looked. If you allow them to dry at least 24 hours, they will set up well.

Cookies

6 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 cups (4 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 tsp. almond extract
Whisk together flour and salt; set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add in flour and salt. Divide dough and roll out on cookie sheet between 2 sheets of waxed paper. (about ¼ inch thick) Place cookie sheet in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight. Cut out shapes and place on another cookie sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes, depending on size of cookie cutters and your oven. (If baking two sheets, switch them on shelves half way through.) Be sure to take out before they are browned. Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes and finish cooling on rack. Decorate as desired. Can be frozen and decorated later. You will not be disappointed in the results; they maintain the cutout shape because there is no baking powder in the recipe. Our grandchildren love spending an afternoon with icing “paint” and sprinkles and I used the large cookie cutters because it was easier for their small hands to hold. Makes several dozen cookies, depending on size of cutters.

For the piping icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbs. almond extract
3-4 tablespoons milk
Food coloring

For the flood icing:
2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. almond extract
5-6 tablespoons milk
Food coloring, optional

Test icing on parchment or wax paper. Add milk or powdered sugar as needed to get it the right consistency. Weather can affect this. Piping icing should leave a line that does not run. Fill squeeze bottles with piping icing and outline cookies. Allow to firm up for 20 minutes or so. Fill other bottles with flooding icing which should flow freely. Squirt in center of cookie, coax to piping line with toothpick if needed.  Allow to dry for 24 hours before applying details. If sugaring cookie, sprinkle after flooding two or three and shake off excess after they dry.

 

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