21 December 2006

Butter Cookies! (or, Why Santa Likes to Visit Our House)

This is the standard Santa-fare at our house, left out on Christmas Eve.

Quality of ingredients makes a huge difference! I tend towards white spelt flour and unsalted butter, mostly because those are a little fresher in our local stores.

2.5 c. white flour
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tblsp orange juice
1 Tblsp vanilla

In a 3qt mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, butter, egg, baking powder, orange juice and vanilla with an electric mixer. Beat at low speed, scraping sides of bowl often, until well mixed. Cover, chill 2-3 hours or until firm enough to be rolled. Roll out dough 1/3 at a time on a well floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with 3 inch cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake near center of 400F oven for 6-10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely before decorating. (Sprinkle colored sugar on before baking; add food colouring to dough before refrigerating.)

Frosting (enough to cover gobs of cookies, possibly 2 batches):

4 c. confectioners sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
3-4 Tblsp milk
2 tsp vanilla

In a 1.5 qt. mixer bowl combine all ingredients. With an electric mixer beat at low speed, scraping sides of bowl often until frosting is fluffy. May be spread or used with decorator. Add food coloring as desired.

Two things that occur to me as I type this up: first, I still haven't found my good marble rolling pin a year after moving; second, I wonder if Santa has gone all gluten-free on us. I guess we can cover the GF issues by setting out some meringues, too, bearing in mind that if Santa chooses the meringues that leaves more butter cookies for me.


KathyJo said...

Ooh, I want to visit your house, too. :D I really like spelt flour; I actually prefer my cornbread to be made with spelt rather than wheat. I wonder how these would taste with a rice flour blend...

And now I've got yet another Christmas cookie that I probably won't get around to making until March. :}

GailV said...

I'm sort of expecting MrV to go all sad-puppy-eyes on me and ask if I could please try some sort of GF flour (except he isn't supposed to have butter or cane sugar either, or eggs, plus I don't have your stash of GF vanilla for that matter). So I might be experimenting. Well, experimenting with the flour -- a bit of butter, sugar and egg isn't going to kill him.

KathyJo said...

In case you're interested...

Authentic Foods has a gluten-free vanilla powder. And The Spice House vanilla extract may be gluten-free. It's made with alcohol derived from corn, so we can't use it, but I don't know if there are any other questionable ingredients. They're quick to respond to questions, though, and everything we've purchased from them has been of superior quality. They ship fast, too. :)