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Holiday cookies: Silver bells

December 17, 2011 |  8:00 am

Silver bells
Holly Hall of Glendale was one of the winners of last year's Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off with this recipe for silver bells. Of them, she say simply: "Our family has been rolling out and decorating silver bells for 40 years."

CookiecoverThat's recommendation enough for us.

They're among the 50 favorite holiday cookie recipes we've collected in our "Holiday Cookies" e-book, which is on sale now.

All of them have been vetted by The Times' Test Kitchen, so you know they work. Download it on the Amazon Kindle, the Nook or via the iBookstore. Or go straight to the source.

Photo: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Silver Bells

Total time: 1 hour, plus decorating time

Servings: About 4 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted and divided

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

2¼ cups flour, sifted

1 to 2 teaspoons water

Food coloring, optional

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and one-half cup powdered sugar until light and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla, and then the salt. Stir in the flour, a little at a time, until thoroughly mixed and smooth to form the dough.

3. Gather the dough and roll it to a thickness of one-fourth inch on a floured surface. Cut out cookie shapes from the dough.

4. Space the cookies about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until just browned on the bottom but still light on top, about 10 minutes. Cool briefly on the pan, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

5. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining powdered sugar and vanilla extract with just enough water to reach the desired consistency. To color the glaze, divide the mixture and tint with food coloring as desired.

6. Ice the cookies as desired.

Each of 4 dozen cookies: 70 calories; 1 gram protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 4 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 13 mg sodium.