Frosted Tea Cookies
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup soft unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, and beat well.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and using a large spoon, mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Using floured hands, form teaspoons of dough into small balls and place them on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten the cookies slightly with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour. Dip a finger into the flour and press on the center of each cookie to form an indentation.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the bottom edges of the cookies are barely brown. Cool cookies 1 minute and transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate the center of each cookie with a swirl of frosting.
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups sifted confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Dash of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
In a medium bowl, beat the butter with ¾ cup of the confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon of the milk until it is smooth. Add salt and vanilla, and stir. Beat in the remaining confectioners sugar and milk to form a thick frosting. If the frosting is too stiff, add additional milk, a few drops at a time. Tint with food coloring and mix well.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip ½ full of frosting. Twist the top of the bag closed and pipe a generous swirl of frosting into the center of each cookie. Allow the frosting to harden several hours and store cookies with parchment or wax paper between each layer.
Yield: 3 ½ dozen two-inch cookies.