Advocate-tested recipe

Wishing Cookies

Makes about 50 cookies. Recipe is reprinted with permission from “Full Plate: Generous Servings of Ozark Hospitality” by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville, Ark.

For the cookies:

11/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 tbls.

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1⁄8 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tbl. molasses

1/2 tbl. water

1/4 tsp. lemon or orange zest

For the Lace Icing:

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbls. milk, or as needed

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together in a medium bowl, blending well.

3. With an electric mixer beat butter at medium speed until softened. Add sugar and beat until fluffy.

4. Add egg, molasses, water and zest, beating well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well until mixed.

5. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, or until easy to handle.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1⁄8-inch thick. Shape into stars using a star-shaped cookie cutter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and cool.

7. For Lace Icing, while cookies are baking, blend confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to make it thick enough to press through an icing bag.

8. Pipe a design on each cookie using a decorating bag fitted with a writing tip, or transfer icing to a zip-top plastic bag, snip off one corner and squeeze icing over the tops of cookies.

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