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One of my favorite Christmas traditions is baking cookies and delivering them to friends. My Mom started doing this with me when I was very young, and I have continued the tradition with my children. It’s hard to choose one favorite cookie, but these “paintbrush” cookies combine baking with painting, making them twice as fun. My children enjoyed creating their own designs and then proudly pointing out their cookies to those we shared them with.

You can make these for any holiday — just change cookie cutters and “paint” colors. You can either buy sugar cookie dough or make your own using a favorite recipe (or the one below). But you must paint the cookies before baking. Enjoy spending time creating something fun (and delicious) with family and friends. Happy Holidays!

Sugar Cookies
¾ cup shortening or butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Sift flour and add baking powder and salt. Blend with sugar mixture. Chill at least one hour.

Roll dough about 1/8-inch thick, cut with cookie cutters, and place on cookie sheet covered in parchment paper (parchment paper is optional). Tip: Cut about a dozen cookies at a time so the dough does not dry out.

Paint cut-out cookies with egg yolk paint (see instructions below).

Bake at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes depending on whether you like soft or crunchy cookies.

Egg Yolk Paint
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp water
Food coloring

Blend egg yolk with water. Divide among several small custard cups (or any small dish) and add a different food coloring to each cup. Paint designs on cut-out cookies using small paintbrushes. Bake immediately.

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