Friday, February 12, 2010

Make these for the family you love

Not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.
Taken with only very few tweaks from Better Homes & Gardens' Sugar Cookie Cutouts.

1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup shortening
½ cup sugar
1 t baking powder
1 egg
1 t almond extract
2 cups flour, 1 white, 1 wheat
4 candy canes

Preheat oven 375 Fahrenheit.
Crush candy canes by putting them in a plastic bag and pounding them with a rolling pin. Or, crush them with a mortar and pestle.
Beat butter and shortening until combined. Add sugar, baking powder, and a dash salt. Beat till combined, scraping bowl. Beat in egg and almond extract. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer, starting with the white flour. Stir in the remaining flour. Divide dough in half. The book recommends you chill the dough for up to three hours to make it easier to handle, but I find room-temperature cookie dough easier to handle. I then flour the rolling pin frequently so it doesn't stick and pull up dough.
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8 inch thick. Use a large heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes. Transfer heart cookies to aluminum foil covered cookie sheet. Then use a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the middle of the cookies. Remove the cut out pieces. Fill the holes with crushed candy cane. Take the cut out pieces, combine them with the dough scraps, re-roll and cut more cookies. Continue until all the dough is used up or eaten.
(To make the smaller cookies pictured, use a medium-sized heart cookie cutter, place cookies on an ordinary cookie sheet, and sprinkle with pink colored sugar.)
Bake at 375 F for 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms very lightly browned. Cool cookies completely before removing from foil.