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HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN: Caroler Cookies

By Jackie Burrell
Friday, December 12th, 2008 at 9:25 am in Christmas, Cuisine.

Cookie Carolers (Courtesy BHG.com)
It’s the first day of our holiday countdown and we’re wondering … thinking of doing a little caroling this holiday season? Then you’ll need some snacks: a little hot cocoa, some cookies that look like you, perhaps? The nice folks over at BHG.com, the Better Homes & Gardens site, are sharing their Sugar Cookie Carolers with us. How cute are those?? We’ll get to the recipe in a moment, but we wanted to mention their other great idea first. After you’ve done the neighborhood singing rounds, sung “Frosty” and gotten frosty yourselves, you might want to do a post-caroling supper too. Follow the link to their ideas for hearty soups, gumbo, cassoulet and other warming fare. OK, on to the cookies…

Sugar Cookie Carolers
Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Assorted colors of paste or liquid food coloring
Small candies for decorating (optional)
1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing (see recipe below) (optional)
Red petal dust (optional)

Directions
1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat or stir in the flour.

2. Divide dough in half. Shape each half of dough into a 6-inch-long roll. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.

3. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch-slices. (Reserve several dough slices for decorating. Tint some of dough with paste food coloring to form hats, hair, and earmuffs. Forcing dough through a garlic press will make “hair.”) For each caroler’s face, place a dough slice on an ungreased cookie sheet. If desired, use a straw to make an oval-shaped hole in the dough for the mouth. (It may be necessary to reform the mouth with the straw while baked cookie is still warm.) If desired, arrange small decorative candies for the eyes and nose and add other colored dough decorations before baking.*

4. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. *(If desired, instead of adding candy decorations before baking, tint Powdered Sugar Icing and use a decorating bag fitted with a small plain or star tip to pipe icing on cooled cookies, giving each caroler eyes and a nose.) If desired, brush on red petal dust to make rosy cheeks. Makes about 40 cookies.

Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small mixing bowl stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk (2 to 4 teaspoons) to make icing of piping consistency. Tint with food coloring as desired.

And… the holiday countdown continues tomorrow with a fleecy gift idea, followed by a weekend of handmade menorahs and cookie ideas…

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