Saturday, December 21, 2013

Butter Cut-Outs

Very well my favorite moment in time was the backhaus at the Dresden Striezelmarkt. Watching Lottie pridefully prepare Christmas cookies was heart melting and a task that she took very seriously. For just four euros, children are given the opportunity to roll, cut and decorate a sheet pan of cookies. Half an hour later, they return to pick up their baked cookies that have been carefully packaged just for them.

Christmas Cookie Cutting
   Travelling around Germany over the Christmas holiday, typical traditions have been put on the back-burner in our household for the last two seasons. As cookie baking is one of my favorite holiday traditions - for Lottie to hear the sounds of rolling pins hitting the counter, feel the dusting of flour on her fingertips and breathe in air full of butter and sugar - the season now feels almost complete.

Lottie rolls out her dough.

   Following is one of my favorite cut-out recipes to share. Please note that this is not the recipe from the backhaus although the end result is very similar.

Butter Cut-Outs
Makes: about 2-1/2 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
9-1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Assorted sprinkles and/or finely chopped nuts

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine flour and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture just until combined (take care not to over beat). Gently press dough into two disks; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

   Working on a floured surface, roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2 to 3-in. cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes. Transfer cut-outs to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Re-roll and cut dough scraps. Using a water bottle, lightly spritz cut-outs with water and decorate with sprinkles and/or nuts as desired.

   Bake at 325° for about 15 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely and store in an airtight container. These cookies may also be frozen for up to 1 month.


Lottie's Baked Cookies

1 comment:

  1. What a memory for you all! Your recipes more simple than mine. I'm going to have to try it and compare! Do they have adult cookie sessions? I'd go!