Instead of decorating Christmas sugar cookies with frosting, give cookies more dimension by shaping and snipping to give a decorated look no piping bag required.

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Wreath-Shape Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Using one portion of dough, stir in the egg and almond extract until combined. Tint dough using green food coloring. Cover and chill 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.

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  • Divide dough into 10 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 7- to 8-inch rope. Shape ropes into circles and pinch ends to seal. Snip edges with scissors to make wreath shapes. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until light brown. Remove; cool on a wire rack.

  • In a small bowl stir together powdered sugar and enough milk to make drizzling consistency. Drizzle cookies with glaze. Sprinkle with multicolor nonpareils or desired decors. Makes 10 cookies.

Nutrition Facts (Wreath-Shape Sugar Cookies)

191 calories; 10 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 43 mg cholesterol; 220 mg sodium. 22 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 2 g protein;

One Dough Five Ways

Ingredients

Directions

  • In an extra-large bowl stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Divide crumbly mixture into five portions. Place each portion in an airtight container. Store in refrigerator up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month. Use in the recipes below.

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Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Preheat oven to 325°F. Using one portion of dough, stir in 1 egg until combined. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press your thumb into center of each ball. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are light brown. If cookie centers have puffed up during baking, press again with the back of a small spoon. Remove cookies; cool on a wire rack. Pipe 1/2 tsp. dulce de leche into center of each cookie. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Makes about 23 cookies.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Pistachio Cream

Using one portion of dough, stir in 1 egg, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, and 1/2 tsp. baking powder until combined. Stir in 2 oz. melted semisweet chocolate. Cover and chill 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle. Preheat oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until 1/8 inch thick. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove; cool on a wire rack. For filling, in a medium bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Beat in enough milk (2 to 3 tsp.) to reach spreading consistency. Stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted, salted pistachio nuts. Spread filling on bottoms of half of the cookies, using about 1 tsp. for each cookie. Top with remaining cookies, bottom sides down. Makes about 22 sandwich cookies.

Chocolate Mint Drops

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using one portion of dough, stir in 1 egg, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp. baking soda until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped layered chocolate-mint candies. Drop dough by teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack. While warm, place an additional halved layered chocolate-mint candy on each cookie; cool. Makes about 28 cookies.

Shaped Wreaths

Preheat oven to 350°F. Using one portion of dough, stir in 1 egg and 1/4 tsp. almond extract until combined. Tint dough using green food coloring. Cover and chill 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle. Divide dough into 10 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 7- to 8-inch rope. Shape ropes into circles and pinch ends to seal. Snip edges with scissors to make wreath shapes. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until light brown. Remove; cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with a glaze made by stirring together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 to 2 tsp. milk or sprinkle with powdered sugar. Sprinkle with multicolor nonpareils or desired decors. Makes 10 cookies.

Molasses Chews

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a cookie sheet. Using one portion of dough, stir in 1 egg yolk, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp. molasses, 1 tsp. ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon until combined. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in additional granulated sugar; place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove; cool on a wire rack. Makes about 24 cookies.

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