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need a tasty cutout cookie recipe for the holidays

My friend Olivia makes the most beautiful decorated cookies I have ever seen with pooled icing (check 'em out here...http://fromthekitchenofolivia.blogspo... ). I love this technique because I suck at cake decorating but have had great luck decorating cookies this way. I am looking for a tasty cutout cookie recipe. I tried biscochitos last Christmas and loved the anise taste but the dough is too wet and unwieldy for a sturdy cutout cookie. Looking forward to your thoughts!

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  1. I've tried a few recipes for cutouts that I ice similarly and the ones I like the best are butter sables. Here's a recipe: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2954... although not the one I use. I've never done it in a food processor, always by hand, but I'll try it that way.

    1. I've been using this Martha Stewart recipe the last few years: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/i...

      1. Wow--those are really pretty! Have never done decorated but really want to this year. Might be delusional being pregnant with a small toddler at home, but this pregnancy is making me BAKE.

        I've been looking for a good recipe, too. The sables recipe looks good. But what recipe does your friend use?

        6 Replies
          1. re: momskitchen

            LOL! I found it easy, and a nice thing to do w/ a toddler while the baby was sleeping. The hard part was letting go any preconceived notions on what I wanted it to look like vs what it ended up looking like.

            1. re: chowser

              Right, yes. I'm thinking I'll make some and I'll let the wee one decorate a few too. He will love it.

              1. re: Clavdia_Chauchat

                Good memories! My kids still talk about all the baking we did and now they're self sufficient and do it on their own.

                Putting lollipop sticks before baking in is a great way to help them because they have a "handle" while they're decorating. What my son (actually both kids) loved is when I did a little cut out in the center of the cookie and then about 5 minutes before the cookies were ready to come out of the oven, put in a real lollipop, candy in the cut out hole, handle below the cookie. The candy melts into the hole (whatever shape you make like christmas trees or hearts, etc.) so you have a lollipop cookie.

              2. re: chowser

                I had a toddler and a newborn at the same time. I was in a stupor the first year of the newborns life. But they are close now as teenagers and that is a good thing. Someone asked what royal icing recipe to use....I use this one: http://sweetopia.net/2009/06/cookie-d... Consistency is important! Don't let it be too thin. I use squeeze bottles from the craft store....works great.

                1. re: momskitchen

                  Thanks--I'm the one who asked for the royal icing recipe. I like that it uses meringue powder. I'm always worried about royal frosting w/ raw egg whites with little ones.

                  I had a toddler and newborn, too (and both are older now). I think because baking was such a no-brainer for me that I could manage it while the newborn was sleeping as a way to occupy the toddler. But, I hear you on the sleep deprivation! I was on autopilot that year.

          2. Those are beautiful. Do you know what royal frosting recipe she uses?

            I usually just do a gingerbread or doctor up this one:


            I don't think it's the best tasting sugar cookie recipe but it's a very sturdy one that I can make on lollipop sticks and have kids decorate w/out falling apart. I do like CI's butter cookie recipe for cut outs, too, which I also doctor w/ whatever spices, peels I feel like at the time.

            1. I have an excellent sugar cookie recipe, fast version and slow, one with butter the other shortening. I prefer the one with shortening. I always get raves and told they're the best, but you'd need to judge for yourself. I will be making mine for Christmas, and decorating them, even better. They're a thicker, softer sugar cookie and like Martha, you do chill the dough. Let me know if you want the recipe.

              1 Reply
              1. I just bought the 2005 Cook's Country annual, which has a recipe that can be re-rolled without the texture suffering. I have not made these but will post the recipe if anyone wants it.

                1. I got this recipe for No Fail Sugar Cookies here on CH about 2 years ago. It really is no fail and they are very tasty. Very similar to the ones that your friend Olivia makes.

                  No-Fail Sugar Cookies

                  6 cups flour
                  3 tsp. baking powder
                  2 cups butter
                  2 cups sugar
                  2 eggs
                  2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring
                  1 tsp. salt

                  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

                  2. Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)

                  3. Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.

                  4. HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess -- Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator. Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all. By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut. Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.