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- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping the bowl. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat or stir in flour.
- Divide the dough in half; divide one portion in half again. For the stars, tint one small portion of the dough with yellow food coloring. For the firecrackers, tint the other small portion of the dough with red food coloring. Leave the remaining half dough plain. Wrap the doughs separately, and chill them until they're firm (about one hour).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the yellow portion of dough 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3-inch floured star-shaped cutter, cut out the star cookies. Roll the red portion of the dough 1/8-inch thick. Using a ruler and a knife, cut 3x1-1/2-inch rectangles for the firecrackers. Roll the plain dough 1/8-inch thick; cut it into firecracker or star shapes. (Make sure you have an even number of each cookie shape because you'll be stacking two of them together to make sandwich cookies.)
- Place the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake them in a 375 degree F oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until they're light brown around the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven, and place them to cool on wire racks. Frost the bottoms of the plain cookies with vanilla frosting. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed candy over frosting. Frost the bottoms of the remaining cookies and place them frosted side down on the candy-topped cookies.
- To decorate the cookies tint some of the extra frosting with red and/or yellow food coloring. Decorate the cookies with frosting, decorator gels, assorted crunchy candies, and colored sugars. For the firecracker cookies, attach a piece of red shoestring licorice between two cookies for the firecracker fuse. Store the cookies in a single layer in a covered container. Makes about 18 sandwich cookies.
From the Test Kitchen
Tips for Rolling Out Cookies:
Work with one portion of dough at a time, keeping the remaining portions covered and chilled. Roll out your dough to an even thickness (1/8-inch), starting from the center and rolling toward the edges. Use a ruler to measure the thickness of the dough. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes as closely together as possible to avoid having to reroll dough. Too much rerolling of the dough scraps can make your cookies dry and tough. If you must reroll the dough, do it on a work surface dusted with a mixture of equal parts of all-purpose flour and powdered sugar. Transfer your cutouts to a cookie sheet with a pancake turner or a wide metal spatula.
Nutrition Facts (Patriotic Cookies)
- Per serving:
- 289 kcal cal.,
- 12 g fat
- (6 g sat. fat,
- 31 mg chol.,
- 185 mg sodium,
- 43 g carb.,
- 0 g fiber,
- 2 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet