Happy Healthy Holidays!
Use your favorite bunny cookie cutter to make these charming cookies, or you could use a pattern you cut out of cardboard.
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Make Your Bunny Cookies: Sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt onto waxed paper.
Beat together shortening, sugar and egg in large bowl with electric mixer until fluffy, for about 3 minutes. Beat in the molasses and cider vinegar. Stir in flour mixture until blended and smooth. Gather dough into ball; wrap and chill for several hours.
Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Divide dough in half. Roll out half of the dough with lightly floured surface to generous 1/8-inch thickness. Keep remainder of dough refrigerated while working with first half.
Using a bunny cookie cutter, cut out your cookies. If you do not have a bunny-shaped cookie cutter, you can do as follows:
To use a bunny pattern, draw a pattern onto a piece of cardboard. Make sure ears are attached to the head. Cut out pattern. Place pattern on dough and trace with a toothpick. Cut out cookies. Place 1 inch apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Reroll scraps, using up all the dough. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake in preheated 375-degree oven for five to seven minutes or until firm. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. If you wish to decorate cookies, prepare Decorator Icing, tinting portions if you wish. Decorate cookies as desired. Let cookies stand until icing is firm. Store in airtight container between sheets of waxed paper for up to two weeks.
Prepare one recipe Royal Icing, using packaged meringue powder in place of the egg whites. Follow the directions on the package. Dried meringue powder is best for uncooked frostings due to the increased concern about the presence of salmonella bacteria in raw eggs. Meringue powder is available in stores where decorating and baking supplies are sold. Here is a typical Royal Icing recipe:
4 egg whites
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
Beat egg whites in a bowl with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Slowly add powdered sugar while mixing. Add flavored extract and beat on high until thick. Add drops of food coloring to tint white icing.
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