Children will have a great time helping decorate the myriad shapes that can be cut from this basic cookie dough.
1/3 cup oz/90g butter or margarine, softened.
1/4 cup/6 oz/185 g granulated sugar.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1 tablespoon milk.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
2 cups/8 oz/250 g all-purpose (plain) flour.
1 cup/4 oz/125 g sifted confectioners (icing) sugar.
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.
1 tablespoon milk.
Few drops food coloring (optional).
METHOD FOR MAKING HOLIDAY COOKIES:
Preparation time: 30 minutes.
Chilling time: 3 hours.
Baking time: 7 to 8 minutes.
Makes 36 to 48 cookies.
For cookies, in a large mixing bowl beat the shortening and butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking powder and salt; beat till combined. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 3 hours, or till dough is easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of the dough to an 1/8-in/3-mm thickness. Using 2- or 2 1/2-in/5- or 6-cm cutters, cut dough into desired holiday shapes, such as hearts, shamrocks, eggs, rabbits, flags, angels, or stars. Place 1 in/ 2.5 cm apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in a preheated 375F/190C/Gas Mark 4 oven for 7 to 8 minutes, or till edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Remove cookies and cool on a rack.
Meanwhile, for icing, in a small mixing bowl stir together confectioners sugar, vanilla, and enough of the milk to make an icing of piping consistency. If desired, stir in food coloring. Use a piping bag and writing nozzle to decorate cookies with icing.
Per cookie 95 calories/399 kilojoules, 1 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 4 g total fat (2 g saturated), 11 mg cholesterol, 39 mg sodium, 12 mg potassium.