1 -1/4 cup Butter, softened
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 -1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 drops Almond Oil (find this at Sweet Wise in Nashville)
5 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Milk
Additional flour for rolling surface
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and flavorings and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, alternating with the milk until all have been incorporated. The dough will be stiff at the end of the mixing process; it might be necessary to add remaining flour by kneading. Flour your rolling surface, and roll to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes, and place on ungreased baking sheet or Silpat. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until just starting to brown on the edges. After cooling, decorate as desired.
Option 1. You can use your Christmas (or whatever cutter fits your theme) cookie cutter assortment to cut, bake, and decorate as you desire. I like to use Royal Icing (we have a great mix that you just add water to). If you use the entire recipe for cut out cookies, you will get approximately 45 three inch round cookies.
Option 2. Stained Glass. You will need a silpat (or any stick silicon baking mat) for these stained glass cookies. Cut shapes, then cut more shapes OUT of that shape. For instance, cut a square, and place it on the baking mat. THEN cut 4 squares out of that, as if cutting the panes out of a window (cutting after it's moved helps it keep from distorting its shape). Fill each pane with crushed hard candy (like jolly ranchers or life savers). Bake as normal, and the candy will melt into the cavity. LET COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE MOVING! After cool, you can life them off and enjoy! Think of these shapes of stained glass cookies: A large teddy bear with a heart in the middle, a star with another star cut out (or hearts on Valentine's Day), a Christmas ornament with mini shapes cut out, the possibilities are endless! You can even hang them from the tree if you'll make a little hole before you bake them for a ribbon to go through.
Option 3: To make colored candy cane cookies (or any mixed color cookie), color equal parts dough (like ? cup each) red and green. Take a piece of each about the size of a large gum ball. Roll out into a snake about 5 inches long. Lay them beside each other, and then twist. Lay on cookie sheet and bake as above.
Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
1 cup Roll Out Cookie Dough (just take 1 cup of finished dough)
1/4 cup Raspberry Jam or Raspberry Filling (or green apple jelly)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, slightly crushed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Portion dough into 24 balls. Dip in water, then roll in almonds. Place on ungreased cookie sheet or Silpat a few inches apart, then press into the center of each cookie with your thumb to make a cavity. Fill cavity with raspberry filling. Bake about 10 minutes until almonds start to brown slightly.
Powdered Wedding Cookies
1 cup Roll Out Cookie Dough
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup finely chopped Pecans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix Cinnamon and Pecans into dough. Chill for 20 minutes to help cookies keep their shape. With a small cookie scoop, scoop cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet or Silpat. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then roll cookies generously in powdered sugar.