Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cooking: Refrigerator Cookies

I have been making these cookies for so long that I don't even remember where I got the recipe. They have become a tradition, as they are almost the only cookies that I make. Almost.

1 c sugar (measure, then sift)
1/2 c butter (room temperature)
1 beaten egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c sifted all purpose flour (sifted, then measured)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Beat 1/2 cup butter until soft.
Reduce mixer speed, put 1 cup sugar into sifter and add gradually to butter.
Add 1 beaten egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla to mixer.

Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to the already sifted flour and sift again.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet gradually until completely combined.

*** Now for the fun part! ***

This basic dough can be used a number of ways, but all of them need to be refrigerated or frozen to work. It can be colored and/or additional flavors can be added, but if you do, you may need to add an extra tablespoon of flour at the end to take up the extra moisture.

CUTOUTS: Roll dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and chill. After 15 minutes, remove the plastic, place on a floured surface, cut with shaped cutters, decorate and bake quickly.

DROPS: Chill entire dough ball for 15 minutes. Just before cooking, roll into small balls and place on cookie sheet. Drops will spread into perfect rounds.

BASIC SLICES: On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a tube shape that is slightly smaller in diameter than you want your finished cookies to be (they spread). Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap, wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes or freeze. Moments before baking, unwrap and slice for round cookies.

SQUARE SLICES: Use the same process as above, only flatten the tube (after wrapping in plastic for ease) into an elongated box. When you slice them, they will be squares.

PINWHEELS: Make two batches of dough, one plain and one colored (or two different colors). Roll each batch between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and chill. After 15 minutes, remove one sheet of plastic from each and stack one on top of the other. Then remove another sheet of plastic from the outside and roll the 2 sheets into one log. Re-wrap in the plastic, chill again, then slice and bake.

The 2010 Christmas Cookie Box
Drops, Pinwheels, & Cutouts

STRIPED SQUARES: Make as many batches of dough as you want colors on each cookie. Roll flat sheets of dough as described above, chill, and stack. Cut the dough in half lengthwise and stack again until height and width are even and you have a square tube. Chill again, then slice and bake. (I wish I had a picture. These look so cool!)

*** Bake ***

Bake 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then use a spatula to carefully remove and transfer to paper to completely cool.

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