Cookies for decorating Back to Colleen's Kitchen

Master Recipe for Butter Cookies

I found this recipe in my book where I keep hand-written recipes. I have no idea where it came from. It has no name, and it's not in my writing. But I recently made the recipe, and it's really good! If anyone recognizes it, please let me know. I'd love to know where I got it.

2 1/2 cups bleached flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons light cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons shortening
*For chocolate butter cookies, add:

Heat oven to 350.

Line two cookie sheets with parchement paper.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl; set aside.

Mix yolks, cream, and vanilla together; set aside.

Cream butter, sugar, and shortening until it is light yellow. Add yolk mixture, and if making chocolate cookies, add melted chocolate. Beat until combined.

Add dry ingredients. Beat at a low speed until combined, 1 minute. Beat for 1 more minute or until ingredients clump together.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured board and knead gently together into soft dough. Chill for 1 hour or up to 3 days. May be frozen up to 6 months.

Remove from refrigerator and divide dough in half. Cover half and return to refrigerator.

Place other half on well-floured board and roll thin. Cut with cutter and place on sheet 1 inch apart. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Transfer cookies to rack to cool.

Jennifer's Moravian Cookies

Jennifer Rich and her mother and grandmother make hundreds of these wonderful cookies every Christmas. Then they decorate them so beautifully using many colors of very thin icing. These are the cookies you want to hang on your tree. But they taste really good, too. Make sure you roll them very thin.

1 cup molasses
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3 3/4 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 375. Heat molasses to boiling point. Remove from heat; stir in shortening and brown sugar until well blended. Transfer to large mixing bowl.

Add salt, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Stir in flour a little at a time; work with hands until well blended. This will take a while.

Cover and chill over night.

Let the dough stand for a while before rolling out, or it will crumble. Divide dough into 4 pieces.

Working with one piece at a time, roll out paper-thin. Cut into desired shapes. Place on greased or parchment-covered cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 5-6 minutes. Makes about 200 small cookies.

Spreadable Butter Frosting

This soft, thick frosting is suitable for spreading on cookies with a knife.

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the butter and sugar in a small bowl and beat until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla, and continue beating until smooth and well blended.