Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Peppermint Stars are Brightly Shining!

I love working with shortbread. I love the taste of shortbread. Though these could certainly be made with a sugar cookie recipe. I'll be bundling these stars up with the chocolate shortbread stars to give as a little extra to teachers and faculty at school. (We've pooled our funds with the other parents in the classes and the children will be giving a big gift card, but still I like to give a little something extra with a personal touch.) Some of these will be packaged up with 1/2 pound bags of Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee.

I used a classic shortbread recipe.
  • 3/4 pound butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 - 2 tbs vanilla
  • 2 cups of vanilla *frosting, canned or home made
  • Food coloring, your choice
  • Mini candy canes in individually wrapped (about 6)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. Add flour to the to the butter-and-sugar mixture. . Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. You can either wrap the dough and refrigerate for later use or roll dough and start cutting into desired shapes with the cookie cutter of your choice. Be sure to liberally apply flour to your work surface as well as your rolling pin.

As cookies are cut place them onto your cutting board. When ready bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown. (May require up to 20 minutes)

As the cookies are baking use a rolling pin and carefully smash the miniature candy canes.

When cookies have cooled you can start to decorate. You can use store bought frosting or make your own icing. If you use store bought, color it with food coloring to get the desired shade. Then add about 2 Tbs of water to the container and mix well.

Using a pastry knife or butter knife carefully spread the frosting on to the cookie. Once the cookies have been covered (I usually do this in batches) shake some of the peppermint candy cane crumbs on to the cookie. A little goes a long way for a perfectly and not overwhelmingly pepperminty cookie! Cookies frosted with a canned frosting will need a longer time for the icing to harden, at least overnight.

Recipe Courtesy Cooks.com

3 egg whites
1 lb. confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. almond extract or white vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in bowl and beat on medium high for a full 10 minutes. Icing will become thick and glossy but will not increase in volume. Keep covered with damp cloth while using, removing small portions to bowl as needed. Tint if desired. To thin, add a few drops of water. Royal icing hardens with a nice sheen.


These are the Days! said...

mmmmmmm.....I think I'll have to try these!!! Alright, Jess...I'll be blaming these 5 lbs. of pure indulgence on you come January!!!! Just kiddin'! ;)

Jessica Ryan said...

wait till you see my next recipe Liz!!

Jennifer said...

Your icing was perfect.It is my first time putting icing on sugar cookies and they turned out great! I havent used cream of tartar in for ever!

Thanks for the work you put into your blog!