Vanilla-Almond Cut Out Cookies

22 December 2011

When I was a little girl my Meme used to make gobs of cut out cookies for us every year, just as she did with her own kids when they were young.  She told me this week that even the neighbor kids would come over to decorate cookies when my mom was little.  Every year she’d bake and bake and then set us to decorating.  We would slather them up with icing and load on the sprinkles for good measure.  I can’t remember when she stopped making them, I must have been in high school.  She happily lent me her cutters, as well as my own to make my cookies this year.  They are older, much older than I am, and are still in excellent condition. 

Much like Meme. 

She also assured Finnegan that she was not, in fact, older than Santa when he asked.

I use a recipe slightly adapted from the fabulous Bake at 350.  If you haven’t been to her site yet go there now, it is pure fabulousness.  I use her exact royal icing recipe.

  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • pinch of salt {I use a vanilla bean sea salt}
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t almond extract

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter until just combined. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate your dough for a minimum of one hour.

Roll out between two sheets of parchment paper dusted with a little flour and cut into shapes.  Place on parchment lined baking sheets, freeze for 10-15 minutes, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

I rotated out four baking sheets while making a double batch of these, it made the baking go much quicker.  One getting loaded up with newly cut out cookies.  One in the freezer.  One in the oven.  And one cooling.  Also, you can reuse the parchment paper, you don’t need a new sheet for each batch.  Just remove the cookies to the cooling rack and reuse the parchment.

Then, get your girlfriends to come over have some drinks and decorate cookies while listening to Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson.

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What is on your holiday baking list?


Jill said...

Your cookies are gorgeous! The stockings are definitely my favorites. :)

Unknown said...

Your cookies are so pretty! Everytime I try writing out names they look like crap:) I am actually making some sugar cookies, roll out butter cookies and some russian tea cakes today.

dulci said...

yum! these turned out perfect!!

Yostee said...

Good God these are AMAZING!! Puts my santa graham crackers to shame!! We are making potato chip cookies tomorrow :o)

Just A Normal Mom said...

Awesome cookies! Beautiful.

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