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Traditional Decorated Christmas Cookies recipe

A pinch of lemon zest adds a citrus edgeto these popular sugar cookies. While the icing is still moist,let the kids sprinkle on their favorite candy decors for somehomemade flair.

Recipe: Traditional DecoratedChristmas Cookies

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons waterIcing:
3 large egg whites*
1 pound sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat togetherbutter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, lemon peel,vanilla and salt. Gradually beat in flour until well mixed.
  • Add up to 2 tablespoons water, a few dropsat a time, until dough starts to come away from the side of thebowl. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2hours.
  • When dough is chilled, preheat oven to350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll outdough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookiecutters, re-rolling the scraps.
  • Bake 12 to 15 minutes or just until edgesturn brown. Cool on wire racks.
  • For Icing: Beat egg whites until foamy.Slowly beat in powdered sugar. Continue beating until thick andcreamy. Gradually add up to 1 tablespoon of water until icingis of spreading consistency. Spread icing over cooled cookies.

    Makes 36 cookies.

    *For salmonella-safe egg whites

    You will need: a medium stainless steelbowl
    a wooden or plastic stirring spoon
    a heat-resistant rubber spatula
    a medium skillet
    a quick-read kitchen thermometer

    Place egg whites in bowl. For each white,add 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon water, and 1/16 teaspooncream of tartar. Stir gently, breaking up egg whites, but notraising any foam. Set aside.

    In skillet, heat 1 inch of water to a simmerand remove from heat. Place the bowl in the hot water and beginstirring and scraping constantly with rubber spatula to preventoverheating. After 1 minute of constant stirring, remove bowlfrom hot water and check temperature with thermometer (tilt bowlif necessary to have about 2 inches of white covering thermometerstem).

    Temperature must be 160°F. If not,place the bowl back in the hot water and resume scraping in 15-secondincrements until the temperature reaches 160°F. Rinse offthe thermometer in the hot pan water between each use.

    When the desired temperature is reached,proceed with recipe.

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