During Hanukkah, it's traditional to partake in homemade treats to commemorate the annual Jewish celebration of freedom. These specially shaped shortbread-style cookies, with decorative icing, help pass the venerated tradition from generation to generation.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup margarine (at least 80% vegetable oil)
1/3 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, cut in margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Stir in pistachios. Form mixture into ball. Knead just until smooth. Wrap dough. Chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a 10 x 6-inch rectangle. Cut the dough with decorative 2-inch cookie cutters or slice into thirty 2 x 1-inch strips. Place cut shapes or strips 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack; cool for 30 minutes. Decorate as desired with Powdered Sugar Icing. Store in a tightly covered container.
Confectioners' Sugar Icing
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice plus more, if needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl combine confectioners' sugar, orange juice and vanilla extract. Stir in additional juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the icing reaches piping consistency. If desired, tint a portion of the icing with food coloring.
Makes 1/2 cup.
Makes 30 cookies.