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Sugar and Spice Cookies




Recipe from Susan Nye's Around the Table



Number of Servings

Makes about 4 dozen cookies


2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
Grated peel of 1 orange
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 large egg
1 T. orange juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for rolling out the dough

Preparation - Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and spices.

Put the butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture to make a rough dough. Press the dough into a two balls and then flatten into disks or form into logs. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or until firm.

Evenly space the racks in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Transfer the dough to a work surface lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick and cut into cookies with decorative cutters. Press the excess dough together, roll and cut more cookies. Or slice 1/4-inch rounds from the logs you formed. Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet.

Leave the cookies plain, sprinkle with colored sugar or decorate with chocolate chips, raisins or currants. Bake until the cookies' edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Once cooled, frost the undecorated cookies with Royal Icing (recipe follows) and then decorate with sprinkles, chocolate chips, raisins, currants and/or colored sugars.

Christmas Royal Icing
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

3 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
5 T. meringue powder (egg white powder)
1 tsp. cinnamon
5-7 T. orange juice
Food coloring (optional)

Place the confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the orange juice until icing is thick and stiff peaks form.

If you want colored frosting, slowly add the food coloring a few drops at a time and mix until the color is uniform and the desired tint.

Ice the cookies and decorate with sprinkles, chocolate chips or candies. Let rest until the icing sets, about 30 minutes.
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