· 2-3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour (675 mL)
· 1⁄2 tsp cream of tartar (2 mL)
· 1⁄2 tsp baking soda (2 mL)
· 1⁄4 tsp salt (1 mL)
· 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened (125 mL)
· 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening (125 mL)
· 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar (125 mL)
· 1⁄2 cup confectioner’s (powdered/icing) sugar (125 mL)
· 1 egg
· 1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
· 1⁄2 tsp almond extract (2 mL)
· 2 cups (confectioner’s (powdered/icing) sugar (500 mL)
· 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (25 mL)
· 2 to 3 tbsp half-and-half (10 percent) cream or milk (25 to 45 mL)
· 1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract (1 mL)
· 1⁄8 tsp almond extract (0.5 mL)
· Silver dragee candies (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Cookies: In a bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter, shortening, granulated sugar and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and beat well. Beat in vanilla and almond extract. Scrape down sides of bowl. On low speed or using a wooden spoon, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until blended.
4. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a flat disk. Tightly wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190°C). Lightly dust a pastry board, clean countertop or other flat surface and a rolling pin with confectioner’s sugar or flour. Working with one dough disk at a time, unwrap dough and roll out to uniform thickness of 1⁄4 inch (0.5 cm). Halfway through rolling, rotate the dough a quarter turn and dust the board again to prevent dough from sticking.
6. Dip a 2-1⁄2-inch (6 cm) snowflake-shaped cookie cutter in confectioner’s sugar or flour and cut dough into desired shapes. Cut out as many cookies as possible from first rolling. Carefully transfer cutouts to prepared cookie sheets, placing 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Gather dough remnants into a ball, reroll, cut out more cookies and transfer to cookie sheets.
7. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges start to turn lightly golden.
8. Immediately slide parchment paper onto a wire cooling rack. Cool cookies for 5 minutes, then transfer from parchment paper to cooling rack and cool completely.
9. Icing: In a bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, butter, 2 tablespoons (25 mL) of the cream, vanilla and almond extract. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until icing is smooth and spreadable. Add more cream as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Spread icing over tops of cooled cookies. Decorate with silver dragees, if you prefer.