Recipe from Karen, Canada.
makes: 3-1/2 dozen
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar (300 mL)
1 cup Golden Crisco shortening (250 mL)
¼ cup corn syrup or regular pancake syrup (60 mL)
1 tablespoon vanilla (15 mL)
3 cups all-purpose flour (750 mL) plus 4 tbsp/60 mL, divided
¾ teaspoon baking powder (3 mL)
½ teaspoon baking soda (2 mL)
½ teaspoon salt (2 mL)
1 cup icing (powdered) sugar (250 mL)
3 to 5 tablespoons water (45-75 mL)
decorations of your choice: granulated sugar, colored sugar crystals, frosting, candies, decorating gel
Beat sugar and shortening until well blended.
Add eggs, syrup and vanilla. Beat until well blended and fluffy.
Combine 3 cups (750 mL) flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add gradually to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix until well blended.
Divide dough into quarters.
Wrap each quarter of dough with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
Place sheets of foil on countertop for cooling cookies.
Spread 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of flour on large sheet of waxed paper.
Place one quarter of dough on floured paper.
Flatten slightly with hands.
Turn dough over and cover with another large sheet of waxed paper.
Roll dough to ¼-inch (6 mm) thickness.
Remove top sheet of waxed paper.
Cut out with floured cutters in the shape of bears, hats and parasols. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet with large pancake turner.
Place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Roll out remaining dough.
Bake one baking sheet at a time for 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies (bake smaller, thinner cookies closer to 5 minutes: larger cookies closer to 9 minutes). Do not overbake.
Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet.
Remove cookies to foil to cool completely.
For icing, combine icing sugar and 3 tablespoons (45 mL) water.
Mix to blend well.
Add additional water, a little at a time, if icing is too stiff; add additional icing sugar if mixture is too thin.
Divide mixture into small bowls.
Add food coloring, a few drops at a time, to achieve desired colors.
Spread icing in thin layer on cooled cookies.
Place remainder of icing in pastry bags fitted with small round writing tips.
Alternatively, place in small resealable plastic bags.
Snip very small hole off one corner of each bag.
Pipe icing designs onto cookies.
Decorate with candies.