I didn’t have in mind the double entendre when I named these cookies, but I embraced it wholeheartedly when it came to mind.
As a child, I loved to get the simple, gold star stickers teachers handed out to symbolize “shining work”. Those tiny, shiny, gold metallic stickers weren’t much of a prize, but they signified recognition and excellence and were awesome to receive. What could be better than that?
I feel the same way about these Gold Star Cookies.
Several years ago, I searched high and low for the perfect recipe to use for decorated cookies. I found a delicious Butter Cookie recipe from Joy of Baking, and for me, this is the perfect recipe. It has a tender crumb with a slight crunch on the outside and is similar to a cross between a sugar cookie and shortbread. I add a dash of coarse salt and a smidgeon of almond flavoring and I think it is perfect.
My favorite icing is a shiny, simple glaze made with corn syrup, water, powdered sugar and a touch of almond. HERE is my tutorial on icing cookies, and HERE you can find my post on Iced Butter Cookies.
Gold Star Cookies are simple to decorate and only a few extra ingredients are needed: gold coarse or sanding sugar, gold food coloring and white coarse or sanding sugar. If you want to make them fancier you can, but I love the simplicity of these cookies.
In all honestly and transparency, I earned many more blue stickers than gold. Maybe that is why the gold meant so much to me. I was never too disheartened when I didn’t earn gold – maybe it was because my favorite color was (and is) blue.
- For the Cookies:
- 1-cup butter, unsalted, room temperature (226 grams)
- ⅔ cup sugar (135 grams)
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2¼ cups flour (295 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- For the Icing:
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons white corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (can substitute vanilla extract)
- Food coloring
- ¼ cup corn syrup and ¼ c. water (mixed together and set aside)
- For the Cookie:
- Combine butter and sugar and beat until lighter in color and fluffy - approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Beat in the egg, vanilla and almond until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture all at once.
- Mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- To prepared the dough for refrigeration:
- Lay out a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper and sprinkle a little flour on top.
- Divide the dough equally into 2 portions (more if you have doubled the recipe).
- Using lightly floured hands, place dough on floured parchment and gently shape it into a disc.
- Gently roll into a ¼ inch high oval or rectangle.
- Lift the parchment paper with the rolled cookie dough on it and place it on a cookie sheet.
- Repeat the process until all the dough is used.
- Tightly cover the pan of all the layers of dough and refrigerate for at least two hours (or overnight).
- When ready to bake the cookies, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- After oven has preheated, take out one sheet of dough at a time and cut the dough into desired shapes.
- Place the cut-out cookies on parchment covered cookie sheets and bake approx. 10-12 minutes or just until the edges begin to turn a little darker.
- Remove cookies from the oven and let set for 1 minute on a cooling rack.
- Remove cookies from the baking pan and place them on a cooling rack. Let cookies completely cool.
- Let the fun begin - the cookie decorating.
- For the Icing:
- Sift powdered sugar into a mixing bowl.
- Combine corn syrup, water and flavoring.
- Turn the mixer on low until everything is moist - scrape the bowl often.
- Set the mixer to medium and mix until everything is well blended and smooth.
- Divide the icing into the number of covered containers depending how many colors needed.
- Keep the icing covered to prevent it from crusting over.
- *Add more corn syrup water when needed.
- **Here is my tutorial on cookie decorating. http://www.thecookierookie.com/perfect-decorated-cookies/