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A Cut-out Cookie Collection!

Cut-out Cookie CollectionIt’s nearly Christmas, and those cute bells, stars and tree cookie cutters are begging to be used!  This post is dedicated to our favorite cut-out cookie recipes featured here on Easybaked. We have everything from gingerbread to mocha, simple sugar cookies to international favorites! Make this year’s cookies your best yet!

Let’s start with the family favorite. My mom’s thick and cake-like cutout cookie recipe features a hint of cinnamon flavor and is truly a part of our Christmas (and Easter, and 4th of July, and back-to-school and GO PACKERS!) traditions. These are easy, and freeze well- so you can make them ahead. Go ahead and click on that photo to see the recipe.

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Next, is my personal favorite: GINGERBREAD!  These, too, have been a part of our family Christmas traditions. This recipe is my grandmother’s, and she faithfully made them every year, cut them as Christmas trees and decorated them with red-hots! Click on the photo to see her oh-so-yummy recipe!

Gingerbread Cookies!Similar to gingerbread are my Pumpkin Spice Cookies. These are sweeter and bake very flat and easy to decorate.

Pumpkin Pie Cutout cookies!Chocolate cut-out cookies that taste like the richest brownie but roll out and cut like a dream? Yes, please!  I love how the frosting colors really stand out on that dark chocolate! These chocolate cut-outs have been in our family awhile too- but as drop cookies that I tweaked to make cut-outs. Click the photo to see this delicious recipe:

Chocolate cut-out cookies

That chocolate cut-out recipe is so yummy that I experimented a little more with it to create a chocolate espresso cut out cookie and…oh my…one of my favorites!

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies!I’ve spent some time overseas and discovered a wonderful dessert in Prague called Medovnic. Then I found these wonderful little honey-filled cut out cookies called Medovniky that are often made at Christmas. I made them for autumn, but they are a delicious flavor for any season!!

Honey cookies cut into leaf shapes!

Speaking of international cookies, these Alfajores from Peru add a totally unique (and deliciously caramel-filled) flavor to the holidays.

Alfajores (Peruvian caramel cookie)!

When it comes to cut-out cookies, the cookie cutters make all the difference! I absolutely LOVE the look created by Linzer cookie cutters. Typically they are layered with a fruit filling, but I just used colored frosting and you have beautiful cookies with very little fancy frosting technique!

Linzer Christmas CookiesOne other thing you’ll need are some good frosting recipes, which I’ve compiled right here in a post called: Frostings, fillings and fun!

mmm......frosting!

I hope that these recipes inspire fun-filled cookie making times with your family this season.

Merry Christmas! 

~r

12/19/14: On a personal note: I blog my recipes ahead, and I prepared this post and my next one (very fun New Years cookies) several weeks ago. Since that time, my mom has been diagnosed with very, very aggressive cancer and admitted to Hospice. I just wanted to ask for all of you who have followed this little blog and enjoyed these recipes to keep our family in your prayers as we say good bye to her this Christmas. After next week’s post (which is already scheduled),  I will probably take a little break from sharing recipes here. Many thanks, friends! ~r

(My personal and ministry blog is at: www.thenavajojourney.com, if you want to keep up with me there.)

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Mom’s Sugar Cookies with Royal (pain in the butt) Icing

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I love these sugar cookies. My mom got the recipe out of a school cookbook (the kind where everyone submits recipes) and she’s modified and perfected it over the years. These are thick and cake-like cookies (not the thin and crispy sort) and they have cinnamon in them – YUM!!! They roll out beautifully without any crazy long refrigeration of the dough. They are pretty much the perfect sugar cookie.

My mom tops them with a thin powdered sugar frosting and puts buckets of sprinkles on so they don’t stick together. These are VW bugs and they were a delicious (albeit unidentifiable) summer treat!!!

I have been so curious about all the beautiful cookies iced in Royal Icing that I HAD to try it….the results blew me away- prettier than ANY sugar cookie I’ve ever made- the process??? Yikes. I decided about halfway through that I’d rather dye my hair purple and work as a telemarketer than ever frost another cookie with royal icing.

Now that I’ve distanced myself from the pain of it I think I would try it again…maybe for a special occasion though. We’ll see.

In any case- this sugar cookie recipe is a treasure– frost them however you want!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c. margarine
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 -5 c. flour
  • 4 heaping teaspoons of sour cream
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cream together butter and sugar.
  • Add eggs and sour cream.
  • Mix dry ingredients (using only 4c. flour) together and add to wet ingredients, combining well.
  • Add additional flour until dough is thick and only slightly sticky.
  • Place dough on a well-floured countertop an knead into flour until not sticky at all.
  • Roll out flat with a floured rolling pin.
  • Cut out cookies and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes (longer for larger cookies).
  • Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.
  • Frost 🙂

The royal icing I used:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of powdered sugar
  • 3 T. meringue powder
  • 6 T. water
  • 1t. vanilla (use clear if you want white frosting)
  • Food coloring

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients together and mix with a mixer for at least 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Color as desired.
  • Frost cookies.

I read about 10 different blogs about HOW to frost cookies with royal icing….mine turned out ok- you basically outline the cookie with the thick frosting, thin the remaining frosting with water and flood the middle of your outline (easier said than done!) Just plan on spend a lot of time– it really is worth the effort though- the glossy hard finish is impressive!

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