CHRISTMAS CUTOUT COOKIES
A large recipe - guaranteed to occupy all of a long winter afternoon. Needs only about half an hour chilling to roll easily. Makes a really good cookie, but will toughen up if re-rolled too much. Decorate some with colored sugar before baking, some with icing afterward. Put icing initials on some for children to find.
If a cookie has arms and legs, you can gently bend them into different poses. For great kids' party you can bake the cookies plain and have a decorating orgy. With this dough I have made floppy disks for computer club meetings, easy when people recognized 5 ¼ disks, a little harder with 3 ½'s. In the classroom I have hung enough cookies on a tree that each child could choose one, ( called up in turn to save chaos). I make the string holes with a straw. Carefully and tediously decorated, individual cookies are sure sellers at bazaars. One winter when I was really young, I prepared dough during the day and had a large kitchen full of girl scouts baking every afternoon. We packed assorted cookies in egg boxes and sold 300 pounds. This is not a recommended project for a single scout leader.
Add egg mixture and flour mixture alternately to sugar mix. Roll about 1/8" thick. I use a pastry cloth and a knit cover on my rolling pin. In the 1951 Friendly Cooks Club Cookbook it says: "When using the new plastic cutters, be sure to dip cutter in flour each time, each cookie, that is. " This means have a floured area on the pastry cloth and press the cutter into it, not plunge the cutter into a bowl of flour. The trick is to use enough flour so the cookie will release, but not enough to make the cookie doughy. Ideally, when you lift the cutter from the cloth, the cookie dough will come with it. Then hold one hand over the lightly greased cookie sheet. Holding the cutter in the other hand, rap the edge of the cutter smartly against the heal of your empty hand. With luck, and practice, the cookie will fall out of the cutter and you can slide it onto the pan, marked side up.
Bake at 350 until just the faintest light brown.
Seasoning may be varied, but keep the amount of liquid the same as given. Do not use seeds or nuts or fruit because they interfere with the cutters. A baking powder recipe will rise too much to keep the small markings clear. Oleo can be used in place of butter, but as this is a plain cookie, the butter flavor is desirable. The scraps can be used for one more rolling, but after that scraps should be formed by hand into squares or lumps and fed to the family.