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Christmas Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Christmas Vanilla Sugar Cookies

I love this Christmas cookie recipe for a number of reasons. Firstly, the dough is really easy to handle and roll out. Secondly, the cookies are really pretty and festive with the cream colored glaze and the sparkly sugar without having to do any crazy decorating. And lastly, of course, they taste delicious but are not overly sweet since they don’t have all the icing that holiday cookies tend to have.

makes about 3 dozen cookies ( depending on the size and shape of your cookie cutters )

cookies:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup ( 2 sticks ) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

vanilla glaze:

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
white decorating sugar for garnish ( or whatever colors you like! )

to make the cookies:

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder,and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, and mix until just combined. Shape the dough into three flat disks, wrap each disk tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Working with one disk at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2- inch fluted cutter, cut out the cookies and place on baking sheets lined with wax paper.

Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator and chill for an additional 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease two more baking sheets.Remove the cookies form the refrigerator and arrange on the greased baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

to make the glaze:

In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, combine all of the ingredients. Stir for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool to room temperature before using. 

to ice the cookies:

Using a pastry brush, spread a light coating of glaze on each cookie and then sprinkle the decorating sugar over the glaze. Be sure to let the glaze set for several hours before stacking the cookies.