I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Holiday Cookie Cutouts

 A long time ago I discovered the following recipe for cut out cookies. It is absolutely the best recipe I’ve ever found and it’s the one I use even after the holidays when I want a really flavorful cookie. While it isn’t necessary to use Tahitian vanilla extract, its unique flavor definitely stands out in this recipe. I personally like these cookies unadorned, but I’ve included a recipe for Royal Icing for those of you who would like to decorate the cookies.

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Holiday Cookie Cutouts

Ingredients

Scale

Cookies

8 ounces unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

4 large egg yolks, beaten

2 tablespoons Rain’s Choice pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract

21/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar (1 pound)

½ teaspoon Rain’s Choice ground Vanilla Bean Powder (optional)

6 tablespoons pasteurized egg whites

½ teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

Instructions

Cookies

In a large bowl cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten yolks and vanilla and beat thoroughly.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, blending well after each addition.

Form the dough into a ball, wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate overnight or place in freezer for about 30 minutes.

Use non-stick pans or line pans with parchment paper. Spray lightly with baking oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dough between 2 pieces of wax paper and roll to a thickness of slightly less than 1/4 inch. Using a cutter, stencil, or inverted glass, cut cookies and transfer to baking sheets.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Place pans on cooling racks for about 5 minutes, then carefully remove cookies. Allow cookies to cool thoroughly before serving. Frost with confectioner’s glaze if desired. Place cookies in an airtight tin or jar until ready to serve.

This recipe makes between three and four dozen cookies, depending on cutter size.

Royal Icing

With an electric mixer on low speed, beat ingredients until evenly moistened then beat on high speed until glossy peaks form. If desired, divide icing into two or three portions and tint each a different color, beating in enough food coloring for desired shade. Makes about two cups.

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I was given a small bottle of Rain’s Choice in a gift basket and I have been hooked ever since. The flavor makes all of my baking so much better! I will never use grocery store vanilla again!

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