Saturday, February 24, 2007

Holly Leaf Cookies

These very special cookies are a favorite for brightening up a cookie tray! I found this idea years ago in a quaint, old-fashioned New England cookbook. However, I didn't care for the cookie recipe itself. Fortunately, my good friend Marilyn shared with me her mother's special recipe for cut-out cookies. Almond and orange extract, along with vanilla, give these cookies their wonderful flavor. I combined Fran's recipe with the holly leaf idea to produce some very pretty, retro-looking cookies that also taste terrific! Enjoy!


1/2 cup solid shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) real margarine
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon orange extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
Green food coloring
Cinnamon red-hot candies
Green decorating sugar

Combine the shortening, margarine, sugar, salt, flavoring and eggs in a large mixing bowl; beat well. Add flour and mix well. Mix in enough green food coloring to tint dough light green. Cover dough and chill thoroughly.

On a floured surface, roll a small portion of the chilled dough about 1/4-inch thick. Cut with a holly leaf cookie cutter. Place leaf shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Trim each cookie with 1 or 2 cinnamon red-hot candies for holly berries, placing the candies at the stem end of the holly leaf. Sprinkle each cookie with green decorating sugar.

Bake in a preheated 375ยบ oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Repeat process with remaining dough.

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutter used.

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