They’re butter cookies made from an almost runny dough that spreads into thin discs with flat and smooth surfaces — almost like lenguas de gato. I baked them last night because my 18-year-old daughter, Sam, wanted to decorate cookies. What she really wanted was gingerbread men but I didn’t have enough space in the fridge to chill the dough after rolling. Worse, we ran out of confectioner’s sugar to make the glaze that she wanted to decorate with.
Undaunted by my inability to produce the gingerbread men cookies that were to be her “canvass”, she said any cookie will do so long as she could decorate them. She needed a creative outlet — what can I say? And she’s really good with food decorating (see her frosted cupcakes).
So, I baked these butter cookies. And look what she did with them. Now, I’ll forever associate Christmas with these chocolate drizzled and star-studded butter cookies.
And the best part? If you notice, in the photo there are paper napkins underneath the racks to catch the drippings. She’s getting conscious about kitchen mess. Good! And she cleaned up afterward — without need for me to remind her. Sure there were leftover chocolate drips here and there that I had to wash off but they were minimal. Quite a departure from what I usually had to clean after she was done in the kitchen.
These butter cookies are very easy to make. They’d be perfect for New Year’s Eve when the family gathers and there are perpetually hungry little ones running around waiting for the fireworks at midnight. You can make a large batch of cookies a day ahead, store them in tightly covered containers and leave the containers open where kids can easily get to them. No complicated procedures for this recipe. No special equipment either. Just mix the dough, drop from a teaspoon on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake. Twelve to fifteen minutes later, they’re done.
Chocolate drizzled and star-studded Christmas cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light in texture. Add the egg (and vanilla extract, if using), beat until incorporated.
- Stir together the salt and flour. Add to the egg-butter mixture and mix just until blended.
- Using a teaspoon, drop a heaping mound of cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets (I used two), at least two inches apart as the cookies will spread tremendously during baking.
- Bake the cookies at 350F for fifteen 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
- Cool the cookies for a minute or two on the sheets to firm them up. Using a spatula, scoop and lift each cookie and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will turn crisp after they cool.
- The plain butter cookies are delicious by themselves but if you want to decorate them like Sam did, just melt some chocolate, cool the chocolate and, using a spoon, drizzle over the cooled cookies. You can get the multicolored stars in baking supply stores. We bought ours at Living Well.