On its own, this cookie recipe isn't going to win any awards for excitement--any flourish is up to the baker. A high cornstarch content means the dough is dry, very rollable and cuts clean, providing a solid foundation for any ornamental shapes, glazes and sparklies you can imagine.
These all-purpose cutout cookies from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion dry very hard, making them ideal for use as hanging decorations.
- Yield:about 3 1/2 dozen cookies
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) vegetable shortening
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) white rice flour or cornstarch
In a large bowl, beat together the shortening, butter, sugars, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. When well blended, add the egg, bleating until fluffy. Whisk the flours and/or cornstarch and stir in.
Divide the dough in half, form into disks, wrap well, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and roll it 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie or biscuit cutters, place the cookies on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, until they're very lightly browned on the edges. Remove them from the oven and cool on racks.