Cutout cookie dough is stiff enough to be rolled out, then cut into assorted shapes. For easier handling, chill the dough before rolling and work with small amounts at a time, keeping remaining chilled till needed. Unchilled dough takes up too much flour, resulting in tough, dry cookies. Excessive re-rolling also causes tough cookies. Use a knive, cookie cutters, or traceable cardboard patterns to produce unusual cookie designs. Bake till lightly browned.
1 cup plain flour
just under 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 large egg, separated
1-3/4 teaspoons cinnamon or ground cardamom
pinch of salt
blanched almonds to decorate
Pre-heat oven to 300 F (150 C). Put aside the egg white, 1 ounce of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or cardamom for glazing. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the yolk of the egg, the sugar, salt and spice. Mix the dough with a wooden spoon and then knead until smooth. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookie shapes with your favorite cookie cutter. Mix the egg white with 1 level tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of spice and brush over the cookies. Put one blanched almond in the centre of each cookie. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light brown.
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups unsulfered molasses
4 tablespoons vinegar
4 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon anise seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon fennel seed, ground
1/2 pound candied citron peel*, cut fine
1 cup almonds, cut fine
flour – enough to make a stiff dough
1 egg, beaten
Mix sugar and molasses well. Add beaten eggs, vinegar, nuts, peel and spices. Add soda dissolved in warm water, then add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out and cut into oblong bars. You can also cut the dough with cookie cutters. Prepare the frosting by mixing the powdered sugar with the egg. Mixture should be thin enough to spread. Spread cookies with frosting and bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes.
Thoroughly stir together flour, anise, baking powder, and slat and
set aside. Using a small sharp knife peel a thin layer of zest
(without white membrane) from the entire lemon. Combine lemon zest
and sugar in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process
until zest is very finely minced. Add shortening and butter to
the processor and process for one minute. Add egg yolk and vanilla
and process 20 seconds longer. Add dry ingredients and continue
processing just until they are blended.
Divide dough in half and place each portion between large sheets
of waxed paper and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Check the underside
of the dough to check for any creases. Slide dough onto a large
tray or baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes, or until the
dough is chilled and slightly firm.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease several baking
Work one half of the dough at at time. Turn the dough over and
peel the sheet of wax paper off of the dough and replace the paper
loosely. Then turn the dough right side up. Peel off and discard
the top sheet of paper. Using assorted 2 1/4 to 3″ cookie cutters
cut out cookies.
Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until just brown
ant the edges. Remove from the oven and let stand for 3 minutes.
Transfer to wire racks and let stand until cooled completely.
Sprinkle cookies with the decoration mixture.