Sunday, December 6, 2009

{On The 4th Day Of Christmas...}

Calling Bird Cut-Out Cookies

These almond feathered cut-out cookies have a sweet glaze and sprinkling of sugar -- elegant and easy.

Preparation time: 1 hr
Chilling time: 2 hrs
Baking time: 6 min

(Yields: 4 dozen cookies)

Cookie Ingredients:

* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons orange juice
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 teaspoons almond extract

Glaze Ingredients:

* 1/4 cup light corn syrup
* 2 teaspoons water

Decoration Ingredients:

* Sliced almonds
* Sugar

Combine all cookie ingredients in large mixer bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes).

Divide dough into thirds; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).

Heat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 3 to 4-inch bird-shaped cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets.

Stir together corn syrup and water in small bowl. Lightly brush corn syrup mixture over cookies. Arrange almonds on cookies to resemble wing and tail feathers.

Bake for 6 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; carefully remove from cookie sheets. While warm, brush again with corn syrup mixture; sprinkle with sugar. Cool completely.

TIP: For traditional cut-out cookies, omit glaze and decorations; decorate as desired with decorator sugars or frosting.

TIP: Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for easier clean up.

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