Butter cookie angels - country living holidays

Yield: 36 cookies

Measure Ingredient
3½ cup Unsifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon Salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
¼ cup Vegetable shortening
1⅓ cup Sugar
2 larges Eggs
Royal Icing (recipe follows)
Yellow food coloring
Edible gold dust (opt., see Note)
Small gold dragees (opt., see Note)

1. In medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and shortening until well blended. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

3. With mixer on low speed, add half of flour mixture to butter mixture and beat just until blended; add remaining flour mixture and beat until soft dough forms. Shape dough into 3 equal balls; wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

4. Heat oven to 350'F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Cut 2 pieces of waxed paper the same size as the baking sheets. Lightly flour waxed paper and roll out one ball of dough between paper to ⅛ inch thickness. Remove top piece of waxed paper. Using 6-inch angel-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many angels as possible from dough, leaving ½ inch between cookies. Remove all trimmings and press together.

Invert waxed paper with angels onto greased baking sheet and peel off waxed paper. Reroll trimmings between waxed papers and repeat cutting and inverting angels to fill second baking sheet. If making cookies for ornaments, pierce a small hole with a drinking straw about ½ inch from top of each cookie.

5. Bake cookies 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheets, then remove to wire racks and cool completely before decorating. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking with remaining balls of dough and trimmings.

6. To decorate cookies, prepare Royal Icing. Divide icing between 2 bowls. Cover one bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Using just a few drops yellow food coloring, tint the other bowl of icing very pale yellow.

7. With pastry brush, paint the front of each cookie with a thin coating of tinted icing, being sure not to cover up pierced hole; let dry and paint again. When icing has dried, brush cookies with gold dust, if desired. Pipe decorative designs on front of cookies using reserved white icing and pastry bag fitted with a small (#1) writing tip. If using small gold dragees, carefully place onto cookies before icing dries. If making cookies well in advance, store in airtight container and freeze.

Royal Icing: In large bowl, with electric mixer on low speed, beat 2 1-lb packages confectioners' sugar, 6 large egg whites (if cookies are going to be eaten, use meringue powder instead of egg whites and follow package instructions for Royal Icing; see Note), and 1 t cream of tartar until mixed. Increase speed to high, beat until very thick and fluffy-about 6 minutes. Cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent dry- ing until ready to use. Makes 4 C.

Note: Meringue powder can be purchased wherever cake-decorating sup- plies are sold or by calling Wilton Industries at (800) 772-7111.

Gold dust and dragees may be purchased from the Chocolate Gallery, (212) 675-2253. Both sources carry decorating tips, pastry bags, parchment paper, insulated baking sheets, and other baking supplies.

Country Living Holidays/1994 Scanned & edited by Di Pahl & <gg>

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