Special Sugar Cookie Cutouts
Contributed by Diane S.

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup solid shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour

Prep time: 35 minutes
Chilling time: 1-1/4 hours
Baking time: 7 to 10 minutes
Yield: 48 2-1/2-inch cookies or 16 5-1/4-inch cookies

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening with an electric
mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and
salt. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can
with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Cover
and chill for at least an hour or until dough is easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough, covering and returning half
to the refrigerator. Roll the first portion of dough to a thickness of 1/8
inch for 2-1/2-inch cookies; 1/4 inch for 5-1/4-inch cookies. Place cookies
on an ungreased cookie sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes while rolling
and cutting the second portion of dough.

Refrigerate the second batch of cutouts for 15 minutes while baking the
first batch at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes for small cookies, or about 10
minutes for large cookies. They are done when the edges are firm and the
bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool cookies on the cookie sheet for 1
minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Simple Special Sugar Cookie Cutouts makes a classic sugar cookie for
decorating with Royal Icing.

Or you can tint the dough before rolling it and cutting it out and then cut
tiny shapes from doughs of different colors to press into the cookies
before they bake, decorating them with sprinkles and tiny candies.

If you choose to decorate before putting the cookies in the oven, follow
the directions for mixing, then divide the dough, tinting each portion a
different color - green for trees, yellow for bells and so on.

September 98 Recipes