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Christmas Cookie Cards

Ingredients
  Shortening 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Sugar 1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)
  Eggs 2 , beaten
  Vanilla extract 1 Teaspoon
  Orange juice 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (plus 2 tablespoons)
  All purpose flour 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Salt 1⁄8 Teaspoon
  Baking powder 1 Teaspoon
  Baking soda 1 Teaspoon
  Food coloring paste 1 (Red and green)
  Assorted candies 1 Tablespoon
  Sprinkles 1 Tablespoon
  Egg whites 3
  Cream of tartar 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Powdered sugar 16 Ounce, sifted (1 package)
Directions

GETTING READY
1. Preheat the oven at 350°.
2. Take a paper (not recycled one) and cut a 6 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch pattern to use as a guide in cutting rectangles for cookie cards.
3. Draw 2 small circles on top and on one side of pattern to indicate holes for placement of ribbon to tie cookies together for horizontal and vertical cookie cards and set aside.

MAKING
4. In a bowl cream shortening, gradually add sugar and beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until fluffy.
5. Beat in eggs, vanilla and orange juice, mixing well.
6. In another bowl combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
7. Divide dough into thirds, wrap in foil and chill.
8. Lightly grease and flour cookie sheets and roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness working with one portion at a time on the sheets.
9. Out of the rolled dough cut 8 rectangles using pattern and cut 4 assorted shapes for top design of cards using cookie cutters.
10. Remove the cookies and reroll scraps of the dough.
11. Cut any leftover dough into extra cookie cutter shapes as desired.
12. With a drinking straw, punch holes in top or side of cookie rectangles for cards, following holes in paper pattern.
13. Using the point of a wooden pick or other pointed instrument write desired message in dough on half of rectangular cookies and pressing almost through dough.
14. Bake all cookies in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
15. Cool cookies on wire racks and set aside cookies with inscribed messages.
To make the Royal Icing:
16. In a large mixing bowl combine egg whites (at room temperature) and cream of tartar and beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until frothy.
17. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix well.
18. Decorate remaining cookies with Royal Icing.
19. Color one-third of Royal Icing bright green and one-third red, leaving remaining one-third white.
20. Keep Royal Icing covered with plastic wrap when not in use.
21. Fit decorating bag with No.16 star tip and spoon white icing into it.
22. Around edges of 4 plain rectangle cookies pipe a zigzag border, pipe a small zigzag circle around holes for ribbons and set aside.
23. Decorate cookie cutter shapes for tops of cards as desired.
24. For a boot, pipe a white zigzag border around boot and pipe fluffy white icing (overlapping zigzag lines) as a boot cuff.
25. For a striped boot, pipe plain diagonal lines across boot using No. 3 or 4 round tip.
26. Complete remaining icing for boot later.
27. For a tree, pipe green icing into fluffy greenery, starting at bottom of cookie, using No. 233 specialty tip.
28. Attach candies as decorations on tree, and set aside to dry.
29. Dilute red and green icing with a few drops of water to make icing a smooth flowing consistency such that when stirred, icing should gradually settle into a smooth top surface.
30. If icing is too watery, it will not dry properly and may run under outline into other color areas.
31. Spoon icing into decorating bags fitted with No. 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 round tips.
32. Let the diluted icing flow from bag within piped outlines of rectangles and boot or other cookie cutouts as desired, smoothing icing into corners using a wooden pick.
33. For good contrast, pipe red diluted icing on rectangle that will have a green top cookie and green diluted icing where top cookie will be red and let it dry overnight.
34. Cover leftover icing with plastic wrap and chill.

SERVING
35. Carefully attach decorated top cookies onto rectangles using leftover icing and if icing is too dry, make a new batch.
36. Attach assorted candies around cookie cutouts with icing as desired and let the icing dry thoroughly.
37. Match decorated cookie rectangles with inscribed cookies.
38. Tie cookies together loosely with ribbon and gift to dear ones.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Medium
Cuisine: 
American
Course: 
Snack
Method: 
Baked
Dish: 
Cookie
Occasion: 
Christmas
Restriction: 
Lacto Ovo Vegetarian
Ingredient: 
Wheat
Preparation Time: 
15 Minutes
Cook Time: 
15 Minutes
Ready In: 
30 Minutes
Servings: 
4

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