Give this universal favorite a modern update by creating an ombre of color. Each batch of dough can be divided in half for two colors. For red/pink and green/light-green variations, tint the dough to a light shade before dividing, then separate in half and add more dye to one half for a deeper color. (The golden variation has no food color.) To make all five colors pictured, you'll need to make three batches of dough. A cookie press can also be used in place of the piping bag.
- Total Time:
- Yield: Makes 28 cookies
Photography: Aaron Dyer
Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2016
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 vanill bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- Gel food color (available at amazon.com)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter with vanilla seeds and confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add yolk and beat until incorporated, 1 minute more. Gradually add flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Tint with food color as desired.
Transfer dough to pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip (such as Ateco #825). Pipe into S shapes, each about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, spaced 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.
Bake until edges are light golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies on sheets to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.