Black-eyed Susans attract butterflies when planted in masses, and you'll draw a crowd when you make these "conversation" cookies. They may be a little more time-consuming than some cookies, but their sunny faces and gumdrop centers are worth it the extra time. —Grace Pack, Beaver, West Virginia
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 2 to 3 drops yellow food coloring, optional
- Additional confectioners' sugar
- Black gumdrops
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extract. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Divide dough in half so that one portion is slightly larger than the other; shape each into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll larger portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-in. round or scalloped cookie cutter to make flower bottoms. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough using a floured 2-3/4-in. flower or scalloped cookie cutter to make an equal number of flower tops.
- Bake larger cookies at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown; bake smaller cookies for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, milk, extract and, if desired, food coloring; mix until smooth. Immediately spread over cooled cookies. Stir additional confectioners' sugar into remaining glaze to thicken; spread a small amount on bottom of smaller cookies; place over larger cookies. Top with gumdrops. Yield: 21 cookies.
Originally published as Black-Eyed Susan Cookies in Taste of Home April/May 2012, p80
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