The final type of cookie I made for my annual Christmas cookie platter is one of the only recipes in which you’ll see me using a specialized piece of kitchen equipment. 99% of the time, I prefer to use things that can serve multiple uses. It’s just a principle of mine not to spend money on something I can only use for one thing in the kitchen, particularly if it’s not something I do very often. I think it stems from my poor, starving college student days… But this particular item was a gift from my Mum, and typically these things don’t cost very much. So what am I talking about? A cookie shooter. If you don’t have one, never fear! You can still easily make this recipe, you just won’t have the same fun shapes. But if you do decide to invest in a cookie shooter, it’s a great way to lure your kids, friends, or significant other into the kitchen to bake with you!
Yields about 3 dozen small cookies
2 sticks (226 grams) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. almond extract
Start by preheating your oven to 400* Fahrenheit (205* Celsius). In a large bowl, cream the butter on high until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and mix until the sugars is well incorporated into the butter. Mix in the egg and almond extract until everything is thoroughly combined, and there are no lumps. One cup at a time, add the flour, mixing between each new addition. Your dough should be ever so slightly sticky, but most of it should still keep from sticky to your fingers when pinched. At this point, you can decide what, if any, coloring you’d like to do, and divide your dough based on the number of colors you plan to use. I decided to go with three colors based on the shapes I planned to use with my cookie shooter: plain dough for snowmen, green dough for trees, and red dough for poinsettia flowers. If you’re using a cookie shooter, I would suggest reading over the instructions before you start trying to mess with it, but as a general rule, you affix the tube and rod that will push the dough, load it with dough, attach the stencil and finally the stencil lock. Regardless of whether you’re using a cookie shooter or not, set the baking sheets and bake for 6-9 minutes, just until they’re barely browning.
Once you remove the cookies from the oven, you can set them to cool on a cooling rack (they don’t need to spend any extra time on the warm baking sheet). One word of caution, if you’re using the cookie shooter, I found my cookies didn’t stick very well, and therefore didn’t pull away from the cookie shooter, when the baking sheet was warm. So if you’re using a cookie shooter, let your baking sheets cool in before you load them with cookies.
Recipe slightly adapted from my Mum who adapted it from Betty Crocker