This is my favorite recipe for rolled, cut, decorated cookies. The dough is delicious (yeah…. a lb of butter!) But it is easy to handle and I find that it holds its shape very well. The original recipe called for 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder, but I omitted it once by mistake, and I liked the cookies even more, because they didn’t puff in that way that gives the cookie good texture, but they aren’t so darn PRETTY! This recipe makes up to 8 dozen cookies, but make the whole amount and stash the rest in the freezer for impromptu creative urges.
6 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups butter (4 sticks)
2 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla and/or
*secret ingredient- King Arthur Princess Flavoring
*Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and extracts. Make sure to warm the eggs or the mixture might curdle. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to butter mixture. Mix well.
shhhh…here comes another secret– this one from Helen Lasersohn, hostess of our Book Group Cookie Baking Party. C’mon..we DO live in Westport, Ct.
Put a handful of the freshly made dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to 1/8 inch thickness. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Stack up the adorable sheets of dough and put it on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for as long as you need to. When its firm, peel off the top sheet, cut the dough, and move directly onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Gather up the scraps, sandwich in parchment again, roll it out, and put back in fridge as you do the next sheet.
Dough can be made ahead, and wrapped well and stored in the freezer for a month.
Helen comments further: One additional “secret” about working with the rolled out dough is to peel the bottom layer of parchment off the chilled dough, replace the parchment, flip over and peel top layer and then cut. That way, the cookie dough is less likely to stick to the parchment even super buttery tempearmental dough
*Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until the cookies just start to turn a light tan on the edges. Remove parchment to rack or marble to cool for a couple minutes before carefully moving onto racks to cool thoroughly before decorating.
ROYAL ICING recipe HERE with Gingerbread Men recipe
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 6-7 tablespoons water