Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Christmas Cookie Dough

Simplify your holiday baking this season: With just one dough recipe, you can create dozens of distinctive cookies. During the holidays, a gift of cookies is always appreciated — and never returned!

• 2 cup(s) (4 sticks) butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
• 2 eggs
• 3 egg yolks
• 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
• 5 cup(s) flour
• 1 teaspoon(s) salt
• 1 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground allspice


1. Beat the butter, using a mixer on medium-high speed. Beat in the sugar, eggs, yolks, and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and beat in the remaining ingredients. If tinting dough , add food coloring.

2. For chocolate dough, reduce flour to 4 1/2 cups and add 2/3 cup cocoa. For hand-formed cookies , transfer to an airtight container. For rolled and cut cookies, divide dough in half, form into 1-inch-thick slabs, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. For sliced cookies, use parchment paper to roll dough into logs.

3. Chill dough at least 2 hours. And chill formed cookies 20 minutes before baking at 350 degrees F on parchment-lined baking pans 10 to 15 minutes, depending on cookie size. For tinted-dough cookies, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake 12 to 18 minutes.

Nutritional information is based on 1 two-inch round cookie.

Tips & Techniques

Royal icing can be used to pipe outlines and to adhere sugar and nonpareils. To make, blend 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons meringue powder, and 3 tablespoons water using a mixer set on low speed for 12 minutes. Store in an airtight container; press plastic wrap directly onto the icing to prevent a crust from forming.

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