Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand

Holiday Cookie Projects: Snowflakes, Dreidel Trios, and Ornaments

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: about 24 cookies
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Ingredients

For decorating:

Directions

  1. Cream the butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) until smooth. Add the sugar and mix. Add the egg and mix. Add the molasses and vanilla and mix. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together. Working in batches, and mixing just until combined after each addition, add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture. Shape the dough into a thick disk, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 1 or 2 sheet pans. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out 1/4-inch thick.
  3. Icing decorations:
  4. Stir the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla together until smooth.
  5. To make snowflakes:
  6. Use a snowflake-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cookies, rerolling the scraps as needed. If you plan to hang the cookies, use a toothpick to make the holes in the dough about 1/8-inch wide, keeping in mind that the holes will shrink as the cookies bake. Bake until firm, 12 to 15 minutes, and let cool on the pan. Using only white icing and a pastry bag fitted with the smallest plain tip, pipe thin lines from the center of the cookie out to the points, like spokes of a wheel. Connect the spokes with thin lines in between them, making a spiderweb effect to make it look like a snowflake. Let the icing harden before threading the cookies onto wire, string or yarn for hanging.
  7. To make dreidel trios:
  8. Use a dreidel cookie cutter and cut out 3 cookies. Lay 1 on a greased sheet pan. Fanning out at an angle, with the handles overlapping at the top, lay 2 more dreidels next to the first one (it will look like a paper-doll effect). The handle is now 3 layers thick; press on it gently to thin it slightly and make it larger. Repeat with the remaining dough, rerolling the scraps as needed. If you plan to hang the cookies, use a toothpick to make a hole in the handle about 1/8-inch wide, keeping in mind that the hole will shrink as the cookies bake. Bake until firm, 12 to 15 minutes, and let cool on the pan. Color some of your icing blue with food coloring, or use blue colored sugar and white icing together. Using a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip, pipe Hebrew letters or stars of David on the cookies' faces. Sprinkle the sugar on the icing while the icing is still wet. Let the icing harden before threading the cookies onto wire, string, or yarn for hanging.
  9. To make ornaments:
  10. Use any holiday-themed cookie cutter to cut out the cookies, rerolling the scraps as needed. If you plan to hang the cookies, use a toothpick to make holes in the dough about 1/8 inch wide, keeping in mind that the holes will shrink as the cookies bake. Bake until firm, 12 to 15 minutes, and let cool on the pan. Meanwhile, color some of your icing in festive colors with food coloring, or use colored sugars. Using a pastry bag fitted with the smallest plain tip, pipe a few colorful borders and decorations on the cookies. When set, add more lines of icing in white. Let the icing harden before threading the cookies onto wire, string, or yarn for hanging.
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