Yield: Approximately 15 (3-inch) cookies
1 cup salted butter, softened
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 cups all-purpose flour
Coarse (sanding) sugar for sprinkling on cookies
Cookie paint, optional (recipe follows)
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust rack to center position. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer set to medium speed. Lower the speed and add the flour, mixing until the ingredients are well combined and dough has formed.
Using 2 tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball. (I used a #30 ice cream scoop for making dough balls.) Place balls 4 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
Press the dough balls with the cookie stamp, being careful to press down evenly.* (Do not use excess force when pressing stamp. Stop pressing when you start a feel a little resistance coming back from the stamp.) If you do not plan to paint cookies, sprinkle with sugar before baking.
Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through bake time, or until cookies just begin to turn a golden brown around the edges. (Start checking cookies after 15 minutes.) Remove pan from oven and allow cookies to set for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
If you are painting cookies, paint once the cookies are cool. In addition, if you want to sprinkle painted cookies with sugar, do so while the paint is still wet otherwise the sugar will not stick to the cookies. Store painted cookies between sheets of waxed paper, in a tightly sealed tin, for up to 1 week.
*Kitchen Ade note: Nordic Ware suggests applying a light coat of oil to each stamp using a pastry brush or nonstick spray. Reapply oil if cookie dough begins to stick to stamp.
To make cookie paint
Place a few drop of gel food coloring (or powdered “luster dust”) into a small dish or painter’s palette. Add enough clear imitation vanilla extract to make “paint,” stirring with your paintbrush until desired consistency and color are reached. You may also use food-grade liquid airbrush colors, as is, for paint, which may be applied to your cookies with a small paintbrush.
Find supplies at craft stores or visit on-line sources specializing in cake decorating supplies.