Chill 3 hours to overnight
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 16 -18 candy sticks (each about 6 inches long)+
- Royal Icing
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Assorted candies for decorating (licorice for cat's whiskers, etc.)
- 1/2 inch wide festive ribbon
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Beat shortening with sugar and molasses until and fluffy. Add egg yolk and blend well. Whisk flour with spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt and gradually stir into batter.
- Wrap dough and chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours or overnight, if desired.
- Divide dough in half and roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured board.
- For cat faces, cut dough into 3 inch circles using a round cookie cutter. Arrange large circles about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Insert cookie stick securely about 1 1/2 inches into dough. For cat's ears, cut 2 small triangles of dough with about one inch sides and press them onto top of cat faces in appropriate places.
- Gather scraps and rechill while rolling and cutting remaining half of dough. Continue until all dough has been used.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake cookies 10 - 12 minutes.
- Cool cookies on their sheets 1 - 2 minutes, then loosen and remove to a rack to cool thoroughly before decorating. Undecorated cookies can be baked in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature 2 - 3 days or frozen up to 1 month.
To Decorate Cookies:
- Blend cinnamon and nutmeg into royal icing and pack icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small round or star tip (we used star tip #18). Pipe dots onto each cookie and secure candies with icing to form eyes, noses, etc.
- Allow cookies to stand until icing has thoroughly dried, about 30 minutes. Then package in small plastic bags and tie securely with a festive ribbon.
DIXIE CRYSTALS INSIGHT
Recipe originally published in Homemade Good News 1994 Volume XIV.