One of the best things about holiday time is the opportunity to make cut-out cookies by the truckload and top them with sparkly sugar. It isn’t even necessary to make these into cut-out shapes. You can roll them into little rounds and flatten them, top with colored sugar and they still look holiday festive.
Used to be I’d swear that we’d just have a nice healthy ginger cookie come holiday time, but there hasn’t been a year yet where sparkly cut-outs didn’t show up eventually. That the recipe makes 40 gazillion helps. No one wants to keep making the same recipe three hundred times. Once is plenty.
Divide the dough. Freeze some, bake some. When you need more festive eats, just thaw the dough in the refrigerator and make more. Remember – the dough is very soft when it is first mixed together. It’s supposed to be that way so don’t panic. Just use the big chill to get the dough to behave. It will.
They also keep really well. Store the cookies in a tin for best cookie-keeping. If need be, you can refresh them in a low oven for a few minutes, let them cool and they’re good as new.
These make great gifts from your kitchen if you’re willing to share. And word has it that Santa loves sparkly star cookies.
|Twinkle Star Cookies, Gluten Free||
- 230 grams unsalted butter, chilled room temperature (2 sticks or 16 tablespoons)
- 300 grams granulated sugar (1½ cups)
- 2 extra-large eggs plus 1 extra-large yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon pure orange extract or almond extract
- 425 grams GF AP flour (213 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 106 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch) (3¼ cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (generous)
- 2-3 tablespoons green and red colored sugar (or color of choice)
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Line 3 or 4 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a mixer, beat butter with sugar just until incorporated and slightly fluffy. Beat eggs and yolk with a fork in a small container and add to butter/sugar mixture. Add vanilla and orange or almond flavoring. Mix until fully incorporated. In a smaller bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mixture and combine until fully blended. Use a silicone spatula to fold the dough from the bottom to make sure all the dry stuff is mixed in. The dough will be very soft – so don’t panic. Flatten dough into two disks. Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate overnight. If you can’t wait that long, you’ll need to chill it for at least three hours, but overnight is best.
- Roll one disk at a time and leave the other one in the big chill. Place dough on parchment. Cover with clean plastic wrap. Using a heavy-duty rolling-pin, hit the dough a few times. Then take the rolling-pin and press the dough – don’t roll it out yet. The dough will begin to feel pliable, but still quite chilled. Then you can roll. These cut-outs are kind of thick so keep the dough about ⅛ inch thick. If the dough seems warm and floppy, cover the parchment with plastic wrap, slide it onto the baking sheet and freeze or refrigerate for about 5 minutes. Working with chilled dough is easy. But floppy, warm dough is a pain in the tush. The freezer and refrigerator are your friends when it comes to cookie dough.
- Cut out the dough directly on the parchment and peel away the excess (chilled!). Sprinkle colored sugar on the cut-outs as generously as you wish. Chill the cut-outs before baking for best results. Bake directly from the refrigerator or freezer.
- Bake about 8 minutes and rotate pans. Bake about 3-6 minutes more depending on the size of your cut-outs. Remove from the oven when they start to get a little color on the edges.
- Alternatively – using teaspoon size pieces of dough, roll them into little balls and place on the parchment. Once the sheet pan is filled (about 15 to a pan) cover with plastic wrap and using a flat-bottomed glass, press the dough balls flat. Remove plastic wrap. Cover with colored sugar, chill cut-outs for about 10 minutes and then bake. This method is one I use a lot of the time when I’m tired of cutting out cute little shapes. Or when I run out of patience. Or when I’m doing the bah-humbug thing. But be sure to chill these flattened cookies before baking! Bake as directed above.