Crisp sugar cookie cutouts
* PLUS Refrigeration Time: 60 minutes, Baking Time: 8 minutes
, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups
In a large bowl, using medium speed of a mixer, beat butter with shortening, sugar and salt until creamy. Beat in egg until mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 cup flour alternately with milk until smooth. Knead in remaining 1 cup flour by hand, forming a smooth dough. Wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
When dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease cookie sheets or coat with cooking spray. Using a lightly floured rolling pin on a floured surface, roll dough very thin, no more than 1/8 inch (0.5 cm) thick. Dip 2-inch (5-cm) cutters into flour, then cut out dough. Place cookies 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on cookie sheets. Gather up any remaining scraps of dough. Knead briefly again with your hands until smooth. Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough is used up.
Bake in centre of preheated 350F (180C) oven until cookies are crisp with golden edges but still light in color, from 8 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake to the light brown stage. Remove to a rack. Sprinkle with granulated sugar while they are still hot. Or cool, then paint with food coloring or lightly ice and decorate with candied cherries and sprinkles. Stored in a tightly covered container in a cool dry place, cookies will keep for weeks, and can also be frozen.
Nutrition (per serving)
Lovely merely dusted with glistening sugar, these crunchy cookies can also be dolled up with colored sprinkles or even painted with food coloring.