Shooting Star Cookies

Square almond cookies make the perfect canvas for showing your artistic skills. Gold luster dust and vodka add a shimmer to these shooting star cookies.

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  • Makes: about 100 3-inch cookies
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Chill: 2 hrs
  • Bake: 7 mins 350°F per batch

Shooting Star Cookies

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, milk, vanilla, and almond extract until combined. Beat in the ground almonds and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough about 2 hours or until easy to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3- to 3-1/2-inch scalloped square cookie cutter and a 1-inch star-shape cookie cutter, cut dough into an equal number of squares and stars. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are light brown, baking the stars and squares in separate batches so the different sizes bake evenly. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

To decorate:

  1. Combine gold luster dust with enough vodka to make a paintlike consistency. Using a new small artist's paint-brush, brush luster dust mixture on star cookies; set aside. Outline and flood each square cookie with glaze-consistency white Royal Icing and top with a star cookie; let dry. Using a decorating bag fitted with a small round tip, pipe rays shooting from stars onto cookies using frosting-consistency white Royal Icing; let dry. Brush dried frosting rays with additional luster dust mixture. Use a clean dry artist's paintbrush to brush white areas of cookies with some dry gold luster dust.

From the Test Kitchen

Luster dust is combined with vodka because luster dust is not water-soluble. The alcohol evaporates quickly.

To Store:

Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Royal Icing

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add the water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined; beat on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until icing is very stiff. If not using right away, cover bowl with a damp paper towel and cover paper towel with plastic wrap; chill for up to 48 hours.

From the Test Kitchen

**Tip:

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.

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Nutrition Facts (Shooting Star Cookies)

  • Per serving:
  • 86 kcal ,
  • 4 g fat
  • (2 g sat. fat ,
  • 0 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 1 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 14 mg chol. ,
  • 41 mg sodium ,
  • 12 g carb. ,
  • 0 g fiber ,
  • 9 g sugar ,
  • 1 g pro.
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