Christmas ornament cookies
Mary Osterkamp, wife of sugar beet farmer and Imperial County Farm Bureau President Mark Osterkamp, says making Christmas ornament cookies is a family tradition that stretches back generations.
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3 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in sifted dry ingredients. Chill 2 hours. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out small portions of chilled dough on a lightly flouered board to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out ornament shapes (such as poinsettias, stars, hanging ornaments, horns, trees) with floured cookie cutters or by tracing with a sharp knife around a cardboard pattern you've made yourself.
Place on greased cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Decorate as desired with packaged frosting (tinted as you wish) along with dried fruit, gumdrops, chocolate drops, silver dragees or other decorations.
Painted cookies: After baking and cooling ornament cookies, brush Christmas design of trees, stars, holly and mistletoe with a small, damp brush and diluted food coloring.