Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cookies for Kids who Like to Make Cookies

The best advertisement ever comes from a cowboy in Telluride who offers this:

Gentle horses for gentle people,
Fast horses for fast people,
And for people who don't like to ride,
Horses that don't like to be rode

I have several recipes that don't like to be made; you'll never see them here. On the other end of the spectrum are recipes that make everything easy for the cook. This is one of those - a recipe my daughters can nearly handle on their own. The cookie dough recipe was written for one of those spritz or press cookie thingies. I have come to detest the cookie press (I seem to lack the requisite flick-of-the-wrist gene) but was happy to take my sister's recommendation of simply rolling out the dough and forming cookies with traditional cutters.

Even better, this dough doesn't require any resting time in the fridge, like a sugar or butter cookie dough does. You just mix, roll, bake and decorate. My kids appreciate the quick turnaround time between deciding to make cookies and eating the finished product. With either almond extract or a zested lemon or orange, they are tasty, too.

Simple Cutout Cookies for Kids
Print recipe only here

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies

* 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 2 T milk
* 1 t vanilla
* 1 t almond extract (or grated lemon or orange zest)
* 3 ½ cups flour
* 1 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 375°

Cream butter and sugar.

Add egg and beat until combined. Add milk and extracts or zest and mix well.

Sift together flour and baking powder. Add slowly to butter mixture and mix to combine.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll dough to desired thickness (I like them on the thicker side, about 3-4mm high) and form using cookie cutters. Dough can be re-rolled once or twice, but after that it gets too tough and should be tossed.

Bake on parchment lined baking sheets for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Or, top with a fine dusting of sanding sugar before baking.

Cool to room temperature, then frost and decorate.

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