Prep 1 hour 15 minutes
Bake 15 minutes per batch
Cool 10 minutes per batch
MAKES 30 COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons finely shredded lime peel
¼ teaspoon salt
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
Green food colouring (optional)
Small decorative candies
1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the ½ cup powdered sugar, the lime peel, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in flour until dough just comes together. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or until it is easy to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 160°C. On a large ungreased cookie sheet roll half of the dough into a 13x4-inch rectangle. Score one long side at 1½-inch intervals. Starting ¾ inch from the corner of the opposite long side, score at 1½ -inch intervals. Using a long sharp knife, cut across the dough, connecting the scored marks to make 15 triangles (trees); do not separate. Remove dough scraps from edges. Shape 15 small rectangles from the dough scraps; place them at the bottom of the trees as trunks. Repeat with remaining dough half.
3. Bake about 15 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. While still hot, re-cut trees with the long sharp knife. Cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
4. For icing, in a small bowl stir together the 1 cup powdered sugar and enough milk, 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time, to make an icing of spreading consistency. If desired, tint some of the icing with green food colouring. Spread icing on cookies; decorate with small candies.
To Make Ahead and Store: Layer unfrosted cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, if frozen. Ice cookies as directed.
It may seem strange to roll the cookie dough directly on the sheet, but in this case, doing so helps you create extra-tender cookies. Plus, you won’t need a cookie cutter—you simply cut the dough into triangles and remove the scraps to perfectly shape the cookies (and perfectly space them on the sheet).
From 'Better Homes and Gardens Very Merry Cookies', published by Wiley. To read more, check out our 2011 gift guide book reviews http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2011/11/17/2011-Christmas-Gift-Guide.aspx