decorators dream cookies
cookies for decorating should be thin, light and crisp, sturdy enough to 
decorate, yet tender rather than hard. this is one of our favorite 
cut-out cookie recipes; the fiori di sicilia ("flowers of sicily," a 
wonderful orange-vanilla flavor) adds a special "bakery-style" flavor to 
these treats. 
makes about 4 dozen 2-inch cookies 
1 cup  (2 sticks, 8 ounces) butter
2 cup  (8 ounces) confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp  (1 3/8 ounces) light corn syrup
1/4 tsp  fiori di sicilia or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond
1/2 tsp  salt
1 large  egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
1 tsp  baker's ammonia*, optional
3-1/2 cup  (14 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
in a medium-sized bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and corn syrup 
until light and fluffy. beat in the flavoring and salt. add the baker's 
ammonia to the egg and water and stir to dissolve. 
add this mixture, along with the flour, to the ingredients in the bowl, 
and beat until smooth. divide the dough in half, put each half in a 
plastic bag, and flatten each slightly. refrigerate for 1 hour. 
preheat your oven to 350f. lightly grease (or line with parchment) 
several baking sheets. 
take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator and flour a clean work 
surface and the dough. roll it out as thin or thick as you like; for 
slightly less crisp cookies, roll it out more thickly. 
we roll decorators dream cookies 1/16- to 1/8-inch thick, light spice 
cookies, 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick and gingerbread cookies, which we prefer 
a bit less crisp and more chewy, 1/4-inch thick. 
use flour under and on top of the dough to keep it from sticking to the 
table or rolling pin. alternatively, place the dough on parchment and 
put a sheet of plastic wrap over it as you roll, pulling the plastic to 
eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling. 
this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional 
flour. for soft dough, or dough to be rolled extra-thin, you may choose 
to roll right onto the ungreased back of a baking sheet. 
cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, spacing them as close to one 
another as possible. 
after cutting cookies, carefully peel up the scrap dough between them. 
set this dough aside in a bag in the refrigerator, to be rolled again 
transfer cookies to ungreased cookie sheets (or, if rolled right 
onto the pan, remove the dough scraps between the cookies). bake the 
cookies just until slightly brown around the edges, or until 
they feel firm, about 8 to 12 minutes. 
let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for several minutes, or until 
they're set. transfer them to a rack to cool completely. repeat with the 
remaining dough. 
*bakers ammonia will make an ultra-crisp cookie. 
baking time: 8 to 12 minutes. 
(ID: 75705) Mirror: Fri, Oct 22, 2004

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