Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Diabetic Christmas Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1 8 ounce can almond paste
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour

Decorating Ideas (below) (optional)

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add almond paste, baking powder, and salt; beat until well combined. Beat in egg. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough, half at a time, to an 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Reroll scraps as necessary. If desired, decorate unbaked cookies with sugar sprinkles or egg white "paint" before baking.

3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and just starting to brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. If desired, decorate plain cooled baked cookies with piped chocolate. Makes about 48 (1 cookie each) servings.

Decorating Ideas: Glazed Cookies: To decorate cookies with glaze, combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 drop of lemon or almond extract, and enough milk to make a thin glaze. Brush over cooled cookies and sprinkle with finely shredded lemon peel. 

Colored Sugar Sprinkles: To decorate cookies with colored sugars, in a small bowl beat 2 egg whites and 1 tablespoon water together with a fork. Lightly brush on unbaked cookies. Sprinkle lightly with desired colors of sugar or edible glitter and bake as directed. You will need about 2 tablespoons total sugar or glitter for one batch of cookies. 

Painted Cookies: In a small bowl beat 1 egg white with desired-color food coloring until well combined. Use a new paintbrush or a clean paintbrush that is only used for food to lightly brush colored egg white over unbaked cookies. Bake as directed. Color will be more intense after baking.

Chocolate Piped Cookies: Melt 2 to 3 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate; cool slightly. Place in a small heavy resealable plastic bag. Snip a small tip off one corner of the bag. Pipe chocolate as desired onto cooled baked cookies. Let cookies stand until chocolate is set. Or melt 2 to 3 ounces white baking chocolate and, if desired, tint with paste food coloring. Cool slightly and pipe onto cookies.

More Diabetic Deserts via Pinterest

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