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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Prettiest Cookies I've Ever Seen: Recipe

I have been waiting weeks to put up this post! My colleague, Mary F., made cookies for Halloween that were so beautiful I begged her to let me take two home for my kids - sorry, Mary, but I ate them and reluctantly shared with my husband. Not only were they spectacular looking but they tasted like they were made in a bakery. They even looked like they came from one as she had them individually wrapped.

She gave the recipe to me and the website that sells this special edible paper. The photos on these cookies are made from rice paper with edible ink. They are terrific -wait till you see the ones I'm making for Christmas! Even prettier than these.

Please check out this company's website for terrific baking supplies. You can find Fancy Flours at

The recipe for the cookies came from Mary, as well. Here are some tips to make this:

* Purchase the large rectangular cookie cutter from Fancy Flours
* Recipe below makes 6 cookies in the above shape
* Leave plenty of time to make these - they need time to chill in the fridge, bake in the oven, cool on a rack, DRY - icing, that is, and then time to ensure the paper adheres
* Use great care with the paper - it's fragile
* Cut out each picture to the size of the cookie - cut them all out at one time
* Work quickly with icing - it begins to harden easily
* Wrap each cookie individually

Pretty Holiday Cookies
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar (heaping)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In another bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and orange extracts and beat until combined.

Add half the flour mixture, combine well, then add the rest. Beat until the dough just comes together (don’t over mix). Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Once the dough is cold, roll it out to 1/4-inch thick on floured surface. Cut with cookie cutter (if you are making the large rectangle cookies, you can get about 6 from 1 batch).

Place cookies on an ungreased nonstick cookie sheet, at least ½ inch apart. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating.

Royal Icing
3 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
In a bowl, mix together until smooth. Use more milk, if needed. Icing should be thin, but not watery.

Once the cookies are cooled, completely, spread one layer of icing onto the tops and allow the icing to completely dry before using the wafer paper. Best to dry overnight in a cool atmosphere.

Wafer Paper instructions -
* cut each picture to the size of the cookie
* spread a thin layer of light corn syrup to the backs of the paper and place onto the cooking/icing.
* Onto waxed paper or parchment, turn all completed cookies - face down - onto the paper for about 45 minutes then turn right-side up and allow the paper to fully dry - at least 8 hours.
* Wrap individually for best presentation

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