Moravian White Christmas Cookies
Makes about 6 dozen cookies
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons sherry
1. Cream 1 cup butter, add 2 cups sugar gradually, and cream the mixture until it is light. Add 4 well-beaten eggs and beat the whole thoroughly. Sift 3 cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and add it alternately with 2 tablespoons sherry. Add sufficient flour, 1 cup, to stiffen the dough. Chill for several hours.
2. Roll the chilled dough extremely thin and cut it out with cookie cutters in star, diamond, or heart shapes. Put them on a greased baking sheet and bake in a hot oven (450°F) for about 7 minutes.
- The butter should be softened before beating (creaming).
- Roll out the dough to 1/16-inch thick.
Blue Decorative Icing
Makes 3 cups
- 1 (1 pound) box confectioners’ sugar
- 4 teaspoons powdered egg whites (not reconstituted), such as Just Whites
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 drops sky blue liquid food color (optional)
- SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 3 pastry bags and at least two (1/4-inch) plain pastry tips
1. Beat together all ingredients except blue food color in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
2. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until icing holds stiff peaks, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer or 10 with a handheld.
3. TO DECORATE COOKIES: Set aside one fourth of white icing in a bowl, covered.
4. Beat food color into remaining icing. Transfer one fourth of blue icing to a pastry bag fitted with tip (keep surface of remaining blue icing covered with a dampened paper towel and then cover bowl with plastic wrap) and trace the outline of each cookie. Let it dry.
5. Thin remaining blue icing with enough water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until it’s thin enough to flow easily, and transfer it to another pastry bag fitted with tip. Pipe enough icing onto each cookie to flood the area inside the outline.
6. Working quickly (to keep flooded icing from drying), thin white icing with water in same manner as blue and transfer it to third bag fitted with a tip, then add decorative drops to each cookie. Allow icing to set.
Excerpted from The Gourmet Cookie Book. Copyright © 2010 by Conde Nast Publications. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.