Perfect Cut Out Cookies

Who doesn't love cut out cookies? They are one of the true signs of the holidays. Yet cut out cookies can be labor intense not to mention the time spent decorating them. Cut out cookies are one of those tiny treats people shy away from. The dough sticks and breaks...and suddenly whipping up a batch of cookies has become an ordeal.

This recipe is easy. It does not have any odd ingredients in it so you surely have what you need right there in the cupboard. I think you will not only agree but return to it again and again. And as you can see by the picture, if you roll them thin and make them crisp, they are quite lovely without frosting...

Estate of Mind Cut Out Cookies

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 /2 teaspoon salt

1 cup white sugar

1 1/4 cups vegetble oil

1 egg

2 teaspoons almond extract ( of course any extract is good especially if you want to change it up. But almond extract evokes the old time bakery cookies of your youth)

Mix oil and sugar and egg until fluffy. Add extract. Add add dry ingredients. Mix well.

This is the point most people chill their cut out cookie dough. I do not . I simply take a glob and roll it between two sheets of parchment paper.

Now I know the parchment paper is an extra step but you will find it is well worth it. First of all there is no sticking. Second of all you are not rolling in extra flour which makes your cookies tough. Ever notice the first roll is great and as you re-roll the scraps the cookies lose something? They have lost their tender quality by rolling in more flour.

Start with a basic cookie cutter until you get you get going. I love an oval disk, the scalloped simple flower, a heart and the star. Roll thin as you can manage and with your egg fliper transfer to your cookie sheet.

If you do not own a Sil Pat run right now out to the Bed Bath and Beyond and purchase one. You will thank me. Place the Sil Pat rubber mat on your cookie sheet and you will never add more fat to your cookies by buttering your sheets or add the taste of a vegetable spray. Cookies will not burn (unless you forget them...) and they will slide off the Sil Pat perfectly. And you will wash the Sil Pat and use it over and over...

Now if you want crisp thin cookies like the ones pictured, roll them thin. I like to cut one, and slide it over to my cookie sheet and then cut the next one.

Bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Watch them. Too pale and they will not have that crisp taste. Too brown, well they will be too over done. If using your Aga put on the rack of the baking oven and watch after 10 minutes. You may need one or two more minutes.

I like to remove them while they are still warm. If you leave your cookies on a hot cookie sheet they will continue to bake a little bit. They freeze well if you double wrap them.

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