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What's holiday baking without cookies? This buttery-tasting dough is strong but tender of crumb, rolls like a dream and is perfect as a gifting cookie this holiday season. Hanukkah cookie cutters are easily available online. A particularly nice treatment for the decoration would be white or blue iced cookies topped with flecks of gold leaf for that full Hanukkah gelt glitz!
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 drops each lemon, orange, and almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup light cream or milk
l-2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Sugar or colored sprinkles
Decorative Icing (recipe below/follows)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Blend in the eggs, vanilla, lemon, orange, and almond extracts. Fold in flour, salt, and baking powder and blend to make a firm dough, adding the milk as dough is being mixed, to achieve a firm, but rolleable dough. Chill dough for about 20 minutes.
Working with about a third of the dough at a time, on a lightly floured board, roll dough out about 1/4 inch thick and cut in rounds or if you have them, Hanukkah cookie cutters, into holiday shape.
Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar (regular or coarse, plain or colored) or coloured sprinkles. Leave cookies plain if you will be icing cookies after baking.
Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.
About 3-4 dozen
Decorative Icing for Cookies
This simple icing sets to a light lustre within minutes of being applied to cookies. Spread on cookies with a small, flat icing spatula. Paint designs with new paint brushes or, before icing sets, sprinkle on colored jimmies.
For each color icing, prepare a separate bowl with:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Water - 1-2 tablespoons to make a spreadable glaze
Food color - to taste
Flavor extracts - almond or clear vanilla
In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners; sugar with water to make a smooth glaze. Stir in food coloring to hue desired and a few drops of either almond or clear vanilla (or both) to flavor glaze. Cover with plastic wrap if not using right away.
Store at room temperature. Stir again before using.