Buttermilk Sugar Cookies

Use this recipe to make "stained glass cookies" that will brighten up your holiday dessert tray.

Buttermilk Sugar Cookies + enlarge image
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Yields:
48 cookies
Prep:
1 hr
Chill:
3 hrs
Bake:
8 mins 375°F per batch
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Buttermilk Sugar Cookies

Ingredients
2 3/4
1
teaspoon baking powder
1/2
teaspoon baking soda
1/2
teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4
teaspoon salt
1/3
cup canola oil
1
egg
1
teaspoon vanilla
1/3
cup buttermilk
2
ounces assorted clear or swirled hard candies
 
Royal Icing
 
Food coloring (optional)
 
Colored sugar, powdered sugar, nonpareils, and/or small multicolored decorative candies (optional)
 
Seedless raspberry jam (If making jelly-filled sandwich cookies)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar. Beat until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in oil, egg, vanilla, and lemon peel.
  3. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough about 3 hours or until easy to handle.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Line a cookie sheet with foil; set aside. On a well-floured surface, roll dough, half at a time, to 1/4-inch thickness (keep remaining dough refrigerated). Using 2-1/2-inch cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Cut small shapes out of the cookie centers.
  5. To make stained glass cookies:
  6. Place hard candies in a small, heavy resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Finely crush candies. Spoon enough crushed candy into each center cutout until candy is about 1/8 inch thick. If making ornaments, use a drinking straw to make a small hole at the top of each cookie.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer foil to a wire rack. If making ornaments, use the straw to remake the holes if they have sealed. Let cookies cool on foil. Using a narrow metal spatula, carefully remove cookies from foil or peel foil from bottoms of cookies.
  8. If desired, tint portions of the Royal Icing with food coloring. Frost cookies with icing and, if desired, use the icing to pipe designs on cookies. If desired, decorate with colored sugar, nonpareils, and/or small multicolored candies.
  9. Jelly-Filled Sandwich Cookies:
  10. Proceed as directed through Step 3. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. On a well-floured surface, roll dough, half at a time, to 1/4-inch thickness (keep remaining dough refrigerated). Using a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into circles. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Using a small heart-shape cutter, cut out centers from half of the cookies.
  11. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle powdered sugar on cutout cookies. Spread 1 teaspoon jelly on each of the solid cookies; top with cutout cookie. Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.

Royal Icing

Ingredients

1 3/4
4 1/2
teaspoons meringue powder
1/4
teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4
cup warm water
1/2
teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together powdered sugar, meringue powder*, and cream of tartar. Add warm water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until mixture is very stiff.
From the Test Kitchen

* Meringue powder is a mixture of pasteurized dried egg whites, sugar, and edible gums. Look for it in the baking aisle of your supermarket or at a specialty food store.

Nutrition Facts

(Buttermilk Sugar Cookies)
    Per serving:
  • 91 kcal cal.,
  • 3 g fat
  • (1 g sat. fat,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 1 g monounsatured fat),
  • 8 mg chol.,
  • 43 mg sodium,
  • 15 g carb.,
  • 9 g sugar,
  • 1 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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