Put on a show with a display of these patriotic cookies.

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Ingredients

FOR THE COOKIES
FOR DECORATING THE COOKIES

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Make the cookies: Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large bowl.

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  • Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, then vanilla. Refrigerate dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out cookies using a 1 3/4-, 2 1/4-, 2 3/4-, or 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, rerolling scraps once. Transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  • Bake until edges just start to brown, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

  • Decorate the cookies: Pipe an outline of white icing around edge of 1 cookie, leaving a 1/4-inch border, then "flood" with more white icing to cover.

  • Immediately pipe a red or blue dot in the center of cookie. Then pipe concentric rings of colors around the center dot (using the same color as the dot, or alternating colors).

  • Immediately drag a toothpick through the colors to create bursts, starting from the center dot and working toward the edge, then alternate dragging inward and outward as you work around the cookie. (Or drag around the cookie in 1 direction or curve the lines for a pinwheel effect.) Let dry. Repeat with remaining cookies and icings.

Cook's Notes

Cookie dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw before using. Storage: Decorated cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Cook's Notes

Decorated cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Reviews (12)

207 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 26
  • 3 star values: 85
  • 2 star values: 52
  • 1 star values: 19
Rating: 3 stars
07/04/2017
I made these for the 4th of July and I did notice the dough was a bit dry, so I added just a bit of water. The first batch I baked turned out to be too crunchy so I baked the rest for about 10 minutes and they turned out fine. For the icing, I used two egg whites and a couple tablespoons of water and it turned out great.
Rating: 1 stars
06/01/2016
they were good
Rating: Unrated
05/12/2015
My mother in law LOVES these. The problem is she's in New York and I'm in Texas. How the heck can you box these to ship or travel with so the pretty icing doesn't die in transit?
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Rating: Unrated
12/15/2014
I made these for Christmas, using only the red frosting on the white. Using the toothpick, I drew 6 0r 8 lines going out from the center of the circle and then between them 6 going back in toward the center. Poinsettas!! They are gorgeous, with 6 to 8 petals. The only problem was that the cookies were so delicious, I didn't have that many to decorate after the kids went through. They were crunchy but sooo good. I wonder if the people who didn't like them substituted ingredients?
Rating: Unrated
07/04/2013
I am a seasoned baker and these have to be the worst cookies I have ever made. The dough was extremely dry so I tried to fix it, but it didn't work. Because they were dry, once they were cooked, they were very hard. (I dropped one and it shattered into pieces!) After I saw how the cookies turned out, I didn't even want to waste my time making the frosting. I am sad to say that I didn't bring them to the event I was going to and I probably will never make another Martha Stewart recipe again!
Rating: Unrated
07/20/2012
I made these cookies for the 4th, and they were a big success! Because everyone else didn't like the frosting recipe, i just searched for a royal icing recipe and that worked. The cookie part was delicious! When doing the design part, spread the frosting on the cookie and QUICKLY drag the toothpick through! Good Luck
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Rating: Unrated
07/11/2011
I agree something is wrong with the frosting recipe-it does not set up on the cookies. They taste like meringue. This would probably work on cupcakes as is. There is too much water, or not enough powdered sugar. We were disappointed to not to be able to take these cookies to our picnic. They look lovely but crumple when picked up and taste not so good.
Rating: Unrated
07/06/2011
The icing recipe is incorrect! It should be 2 lbs sifted powder sugar, not 1 lb!!! I (like Ly1) made this for a 4th potluck, and almost cried at the merangue, sticky tops. I still served them (they tasted fine), but they were messy. This was the first time I used a different royal icing recipe that I normally use, mainly because the mag was on my counter when I was making the icing. They did look fantastic, and I will make them again - just with the correct icing recipe!
Rating: Unrated
07/05/2011
Frosting recipe was too thick and when I tried to dilute with water my frosting separated on me! Next time, buying store bought cookies so I can save energy for getting frosting right. Decorating was REALLY fun and I was shocked how good they looked- mess-ups and all. If I put each color frosting into a ziplock bag and cut the corner I could refill my squeez bottles easily. Mix gel coloring thoroughly or it will come back to haunt you as beading splotches. Pretty enough to try again!
Rating: Unrated
07/04/2011
Did this design on cupcakes! They are so beautiful! Thanks Martha!
Rating: Unrated
07/03/2011
I made these for my dad for father's day. They were so yummy! My dad was amazed by the firework pattern. I didn't have gel colors so I used regular liquid food coloring. It wasn't as bright, but it looked cool anyway. I thought the icing recipe worked really well. It didn't flow all the way to the edges of the outline on its own, but it spread quite easily, and I didn't have to dilute it after I did the outlines. It was my first time "flooding" and it turned out great with this recipe.
Rating: Unrated
07/03/2011
Just made these, whatever you do DO NOT use the frosting recipe...it's a meringue consistency, doesn't flow well and it is incredibly hard to work. Just make regular royal icing with enough water added to flow. This is a cute idea, but with this frosting recipe...NOT worth it. Now I'm back to the drawing board for our neighborhood 4th of July picnic this afternoon. Could cry really.