Monday, December 24, 2012

christmas sugar cookies

the goods:
3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
green, red, and yellow food coloring

Whisk together flour and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy, 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and beat until combined. Tint dough by mixing in food coloring: for trees, tint two-thirds the dough green; tint some of the remaining dough red and some yellow; leave some plain. Individually wrap all dough in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour. 

On a large sheet of parchment paper, lightly flour both sides of 1 disk green dough, cover with more parchment, and roll out to about 1/8-inch thick. Roll pieces of red dough into thin snakes. Arrange on top of green dough in desired pattern. Roll yellow and plain dough into pea-size balls and arrange on top of green dough in desired pattern. Top dough with more parchment and gently roll over dough until decorative pieces are flush with green dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Carefully remove top sheet of parchment. With a tree shaped cutter, cut dough. Transfer dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with colored sanding sugar and bake until set, 10 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Use same method for candy canes by rolling out white dough and placing red snakes on top.

Serve with milk for Santa.

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