Snowflake Cookies| Christy Rost
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla)
- 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening with the granulated sugar at medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners sugar and salt; beat 1 minute more.
Stir in vanilla bean paste, orange juice, and hazelnuts, beating until well blended. Gradually add the flour, beating until the dough is holds together. If the dough is too dry, add more orange juice, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Roll dough in your hands to form 1-inch balls and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten the dough with a glass dipped in flour to 3/8-inch thickness. With the sharp end of a teardrop-shaped aspic cutter, cut around the perimeter of each cookie to form a snowflake.
Bake cookies in a preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes until they are firm and barely brown around the edges. Allow cookies to cool 1 minute, then transfer with a metal spatula to wire racks. While the cookies are still warm, dredge them in confectioners sugar and return them to wire racks to cool completely. To store, place cookies in an airtight container up to 1 week.
Recipe makes 3 ½ dozen cookies.