Hot dog look aside, taste-wise, these treats are totally sweet. Starting with a simple and lightly sweet butter cookie dough, you simply tint a portion, shape appropriately and add a squiggle of decorating icing to attain an adorable dessert trompe l'oeil morsel.
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- Yield:makes 16 cookies
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour, 45 minutes
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups (about 14 ounces) flour
- 6 to 7 drops red food coloring
- Flaked coconut
- Yellow or red decorating icing
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar on high until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the flour and vanilla on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Remove all but one cup of the dough and set aside. Add red food coloring to the 1 cup left in mixer and knead until well combined. Cover both the tinted and untinted dough in separate bowls; place both in the refrigerator to chill for an hour.
Near the end of your cooling period, position a rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
For hot dogs, divide red dough into 16 portions. Shape into approximately 2-inch logs; round the ends, and set aside. Divide the untinted dough into 16 portions. Shape into approximately 3-inch logs; make a length-wise groove in each cookie (I did this by pressing my finger into it). Smooth any cracked edges with your fingers. These will be the "buns".
Place each "bun" cookie two inches apart on your prepared baking sheet. Place the red "hot dog" cookie dough logs into the "bun" cookies.
Bake until the edges are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
If desired, sprinkle with a garnish of flaked coconut for "saurkraut"; for ketchup or mustard, pipe a stripe of red or yellow frosting down the center of each finished cookie.