Sallie Stroup's Amazing Cookie Recipe

Among her many talents, Executive Director Sallie Stroup is an exceptional baker, and she has been kind enough to share her recipe for her renowned cookies. Bake a batch this holiday season, and you’ll understand why these are so special.

Shortbread Cookie Cut-outs

1 cup softened butter
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups flour

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour. Transfer dough to a clean work surface; knead gently to form a smooth dough, about 2 minutes. (Mixture will be very crumbly at first, but will come together and form a dough as it’s kneaded.)

Divide dough in half. Roll each portion between two sheets of waxed paper to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2- to 3-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. If desired, sprinkle with colored sugar.

Bake 14-16 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Royal Icing
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar

In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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