Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Star Spangled Cookies

Aren't these fun? Easy, too!

Sugar Cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar*
1 egg
2 3/4 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash salt

* After I scraped the seeds from a vanilla bean for the Watermelon Sweet Tea Granita, I put the vanilla bean in a jar with sugar. It smells so good - sweet and vanilla-y! I used the vanilla sugar for these cookies.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat until fluffy.

Add vanilla, sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate. (Dough can be refrigerated for several days.)

When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350°.

Roll dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter. I used a 2 1/2-inch star cookie cutter.

Bake cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, or until cookies are just beginning to brown on the edges.

Cool on pan for a minute or two, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.

This recipe yielded something like 30 cookies.

I love this part...the cookie glaze:

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
scant 1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring (or you can use more vanilla, or a 1/2 teaspoon of almond or lemon extract if you prefer)
red and blue food coloring

Before you start, place a couple of wire racks on top of baking sheets. It will make cleanup easier later; any drips and dribbles from the cookies lands on the baking sheets and not on your counters. (Some concentrated food pastes can stain!)

Put the water in a small bowl and gradually add the confectioners' sugar. Stir until smooth. Beat in the corn syrup and vanilla until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.

Divide the glaze among three shallow dishes. Pie plates work great.

Tint one container of cookie glaze red, one blue, and leave the last one white.

Dip the cookies in the glaze and shake gently to remove the excess. Place the cookie on a wire rack to harden, which takes several hours.

This amount of cookie glaze covered all the cookies I made just right - I didn't run out and didn't have tons of left over. Just the right amount!

If you make these, I'd love to see your pictures!

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