With this convenient recipe, you get four different kinds of cookies from just one batch of dough. The cutouts, peppermint balls, spicy fruit balls and chocolate slices are enough to fill up a Christmas treat tray. —Dawn Fagerstrom, Warren, Minnesota
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR CUTOUTS:
- Sprinkles, jimmies or colored sugar, optional
- ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR PEPPERMINT BALLS:
- 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Red colored sugar, optional
- ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR SPICY FRUIT BALLS:
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Confectioners' sugar, optional
- ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE SLICES:
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
- Divide dough into four 1-1/2 cup portions; mix and shape for each variety as follows. Yield: 4 portions (1-1/2 cups each).
- To prepare Cutouts: Using one portion dough, divide into two balls; roll each ball directly on an ungreased baking sheet to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured cookie cutter, leaving at least 1 in. between cookies. Remove excess dough and reroll scraps if desired. Decorate with sprinkles, jimmies or colored sugar if desired. Bake at 375° for 6-7 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.
- To prepare Peppermint Balls: In a large bowl, combine one portion dough, peppermint candies and peppermint extract. Shape into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with red colored sugar if desired. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.
- To prepare Spicy Fruit Balls: In a large bowl, combine one portion dough, currants, fruit and cinnamon. Shape into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool for 1 minute then roll in confectioners' sugar if desired. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.
- To prepare Chocolate Slices: In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. In a small bowl, mix melted chocolate into one portion cookie dough. Shape into a 1-1/2-in.-thick log; roll in nuts. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. Unwrap and cut into 1/8-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Best Butter Cookies in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2009, p65
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