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      Title: Miniature Cookie Houses
 Categories: Holidays, Non-food, Gifts, Christmas
      Yield: 1 servings
 
----------------------FOR COOKIE HOUSE---------------------------
  4 1/2 c  Flour (may need up to 5)
      2 ts Baking powder
    1/2 ts Salt
      1 c  Margarine; room temperature
      2 c  Sugar
      2 ea Eggs
      2 tb Milk
      2 ts Vanilla extract
           Egg wash

-----------------------FOR DECORATING----------------------------
           #5,#7 round and #27 star tip
           Three decorating bags
           Decorating icing
           Colored sugar
           Assorted candies
           Decorating bag with coupler
 
       Make the cookie dough:  Stir or whisk together 4 1/2 cups of the
  flour, the baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream the butter and
  sugar until light; add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat well.
  Gradually add the dry ingredients and blend to form a smooth ball of
  dough. If the dough is sticky, add just enough of the remaining flour
  to eliminate the stickiness. The dough should not be dry. Divide the
  dough in half, wrap each ball in plastic and refrigerate for several
  hours, or until firm enough to roll.
       Meanwhile, cut cardboard templates for the base and the three
  parts of the cookie house.  The dimensions are as follows:  THE BASE:
  is a circle 6" across (cut 1)  THE SIDE: is a rectangle 2 3/8" x 3
  1/2" (cut 2) THE FRONT/BACK: is funny shaped. It's 3" wide and 4 1/4"
  tall (total height). From the bottom to the beginning of the "roof"
  section is 2 3/8". At 2 3/8" cut up to form the "roof" top like an
  upside down "V" (cut 2). Finally cut the ROOF: it's a rectangle 2
  3/4" x 4 1/4".
       Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a flour-dusted cookie sheet or
  the back of one jelly roll pan, roll out one ball of dough to
  1/8"-1/4" thick. For each house cut one base, two sides, two
  front/back pieces, and two roof pieces.  Lay out the cardboard
  patterns on the dough, leaving 1 1/2" between them. The layout will
  depend on the size of your cookie sheet and how many houses you are
  making.  Use a sharp knife to cut around each template, removing
  excess dough as you cut. Wipe the knife frequently. Repeat the
  rolling and cutting process to make the remaining pieces. If you want
  some small trees in front of your house, make them using a cookie
  cutter.
       Bake both sheets of cookies at the same time, for 10-15 minutes
  reemoving pieces when they are done (preferable to overbake than
  underbake since we need firm cookies). The cookies may brown, but
  this is O.K. Transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool completely.
       Decorate the pieces before assembling the houses.  You can do
  this many ways. Mostly use your imagination. Frost or pipe/apply
  candies to the "wet" icing. To "sugar-coat" areas, brush on egg-wash
  (being careful not to touch any piping or decorations); then sprinkle
  immediately with colored sugar. Tap gently to shake off excess sugar.
  Set aside to dry for half an hour.
       Next to assemble houses. Use the #7 icing tip . Pipe a thick
  line of icing along edges to be put together and "glue" the houses
  together and on the base. Make sure to do one area at a time and hold
  until icing sets. Let all set for a few minutes.  When icing is firm,
  do any finishing touches. MAKES THREE COOKIE HOUSES WITH BASES The
  Christmas Kitchen by Lorraine Bodger





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