Comments: And Since We're Talking Cookies

Here are the recipes I used:

Sugar Cookies
Makes about 16 large cookies or thirty 2 1/2-inch cookies

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. 2. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs. 3. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla or lemon juice and zest. Wrap dough in plastic; chill for about 30 minutes. 4. Preheat oven to 325°. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, and decorate with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake until edges just start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks. May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Basic Gingerbread Cookies
Makes about 24 six-inch gingerbread people

6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
1 ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 cup molasses

1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. 2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture; combine on low speed. Divide dough in thirds, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour. 3. Heat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with Silpats (a French nonstick baking mat). Set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut into gingerbread people shapes. Transfer to prepared baking sheets. 4. Cut out desired decorations and place on cookies. Press currants into dough to create eyes and buttons. To create hair, roll a piece of dough into a ball and pass through a clean garlic press. Attach hair to heads. Bake until crisp, but not darkened for about 20 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire racks. 5. Decorate with royal icing.
Note: When making very large cookies, use two spatulas to transfer cutout dough to baking sheets, or roll dough directly onto the baking sheet. Press cutter into the dough, and remove the excess before taking away the cutter.

Posted by Blair at December 12, 2004 11:31 PM