How to Bake Children's Favorite (and Easy!) Cut-Out Cookies for Chanukah

Children love cutting out cookies; often they come up with their own odd shapes. It is a great, albeit messy, holiday activity. Aside from being plain fun, baking helps to build many skills: For example, reading a recipe boosts literacy, measuring is a pre-math task, and experiencing how it all comes together is surely a science experiment.

The following recipe, courtesy of Martha Stewart, works really well and yields about three baking trays of cookies. It is easily doubled.

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, or 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and grated zest of one lemon
sprinkles or sanding sugar in blue and white (if desired)

Set out butter to soften ahead of time.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in vanilla or lemon juice and zest.

Add flour mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined. Most likely the dough is crumbly at this point, so gather it with your hands and gently press it into a ball. Wrap dough ball in plastic and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and transfer cookies to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Refrigerate trays for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 325˚.

Remove cookie trays from refrigerator. Decorate cookies with sprinkles if desired.

Bake until the cookies' edges are slightly brown, 10 - 15 minutes.

Cool cookies on wire racks.

Cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two weeks. They taste great dipped into milk or hot tea! Enjoy!


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