Makes about 3 dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Food Coloring (optional)
Holiday-shaped cookie cutters (tree, heart, shamrock, angel, flower, pumpkin, etc...)
Grease and flour 2 large cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat margarine and 2/3 cup sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy. Reduce speed to low.
Add baking powder, vanilla, salt, egg, 1 1/2 cups flour, and 2 tablespoons water. Beat until blended.
Place 1/2 dough in medium bowl; with wooden spoon, stir in remaining 1/2 cup flour. If you would like the cookies to be festive, simply use food coloring to color this portion of the dough. Use red for Christmas or Valentine's Day; use green for St. Patrick's Day or May Day; use Orange for Halloween; and so on.
Stir cocoa into dough remaining in large bowl. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll vanilla dough 1/8 inch thick.
Preheat oven to 350F.
With floured 3-inch round scallop shaped cookie cutter, cut vanilla dough into as many cookies as possible. Reserve trimmings.
Place cookies on 1 cookie sheet about 1/4 inch apart. Repeat with chocolate dough, placing chocolate cookies on second cookie sheet.
With 1 1/2 inch round scallop shaped cookie cutter, cut out small round holes in the center of each vanilla and chocolate cookie.
Fit a small vanilla cookie in each chocolate cookie to make two-tone cookies.
Sprinkle cookies lightly with 2 teaspoons sugar.
Bake cookies on two oven racks 12-15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking time, until golden.
With spatula, transfer cookies on wire racks to cool.
Store cookies in tightly covered container. Can be frozen for 3 months.
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