Painted Ornament Cookies

Painted Ornament Cookies
Yield: approximately 3 dozen cookies
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  1. 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  6. 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 4 cups all-purpose flour
  11. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  12. 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  13. 1 recipe Royal Icing (recipe follows)
  1. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, beating on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes to combine. Add eggs, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla to butter mixture. Beat at medium speed to combine.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed to combine. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until a soft dough forms, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Divide dough in half. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1⁄4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, rerolling dough only once if needed. Using the blunt end of a wooden skewer, make a hole in top of ornament for hanging, if desired.Place on prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake until edges are lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Using the end of a wooden skewer, punch holes to be sure they have not closed up. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool completely.
  7. Paint cookies with Royal Icing as desired. Let dry.
Taste of the South
Royal Icing
Yield: 1 1⁄4 cups
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  1. 6 tablespoons cold water
  2. 3 tablespoons meringue powder*
  3. 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. Gel food coloring in various colors
  1. In a large bowl, beat water and meringue powder with a wire whisk until frothy. Add confectioners’ sugar, whisking until smooth. Whisk in vanilla.
  2. Divide icing into smaller bowls, and add desired amount of food coloring. Cover icing until ready to use so that it doesn’t dry out.
  1. *Meringue powder is available in the cake-decorating section of craft stores.
Taste of the South

Decorating Cookies:

  • Have cooled cookies and Royal Icing in various colors ready before you begin. Using a small brush, paint a thin layer of desired base color on cookie.
  • While base color is still wet, dot contrasting colors around cookie in desired pattern. Icing will spread, so place dots 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch apart.
  • Pull the tip of a wooden pick or skewer through wet dots to make heart or chevron patterns. Add decorative sanding sugar or nonpareils to cookie while icing is still wet.
  • To add solid lines, let cookies dry completely before painting lines on top of icing.


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