Butter Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies (not gluten-free)

A coworker is leaving tomorrow, and I wanted to bake for him. He chose cookies, so I chose cut-out cookies (he’s leaving to do a one-man show that’s guitar-centric, and I wanted to break out my guitar cookie cutter).

These are two of my favorite old holiday recipes, but they’re good any time. I think for the butter cookies, the original recipe was called “bunny butter cookies”, which I always figured meant they were for Easter. But in my house, we made these for birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Flag Day, and every other holiday that merited cookies.

Mind you, neither of these recipes is low-carb, or sugar-free.

Bunny Butter Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 cup flour

Blend the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and baking powder. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, blending well each time. Then cover the whole mess with plastic wrap and toss it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill. I left this batch in the fridge overnight, and it came through just dandy.

Roll out half the dough, using plenty of flour to keep things from sticking. You can collect the scraps and re-roll, but bear in mind that they’ll be springier and may not hold their shape as well. The more rolling, the more the glutens go crazy.

Bake on silicon sheets, parchment paper, or non-stick baking sheets — whatever you have that’s nonsticky. 425° for 5-7 minutes. Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies, depending on what size cutters you like.

Gingerbread Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups flour

Toss everything but the flour in a bowl, and mix well. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each. Then, as with the other cookies, stash the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours. Again, this stuff sat overnight and was great the next morning.

As with the others, roll out, use cutters (or slice into squares with a knife, if you want to build little houses), bake on a non-stick surface (same as the others). For these, it’s 350° for 6-8 minutes. It’s a bigger batch than the other, so you may get 4-5 dozen cookies depending on size.

Buttercream Frosting

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
1 box (16 oz) powdered sugar
1/3 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla

This is a modified version from the old C&H powdered sugar box. I used cream, because I don’t have milk in the house. And I used more than the 1/4 cup liquid, because I wanted a thinner, more pipe-able frosting.

I’m a haphazard icer. I mostly go for the easy squiggles, but on some I tried to make them look guitar-ish. Looking at the cookies, though, it strikes me that they’re more ukulele-ish in shape. But the neck of the guitar needs to be fatter and shorter, so the cookies don’t break as much. Tiny gingerbread ukes! NOM!