Marbled Vanilla Sugar Cookies
Makes 2 dozen Prep 15 min Refrigerate 1 hr, 30 min Let stand 10 min Freeze 15 min Bake 15 min 2 cups AP flour ½ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp coarse salt 1 stick unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1 large egg ½ tsp vanilla extract Prepared white fondant Prepared vanilla frosting Black, gray and burgundy gel food coloring Sheets of edible gold leaf 1 Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 min. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Turn out dough and divide in half. Flatten each half into a rectangular disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. 2 Heat oven to 325°. Remove dough from fridge and let stand at room temp until just soft enough to roll, about 10 min. Roll out 1 disk on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick, adding flour as needed to keep from sticking. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 min. Cut with heart cookie cutters. Transfer to parchmentlined baking sheets as you work. Re-roll scraps and continue cutting. Repeat with remaining disk of dough. Chill cookies in freezer until very firm, about 15 min. 3 Bake cookies, rotating halfway through, until edges just start to turn golden, 12 to 15 min. Let cool completely. 4 Meanwhile, with food coloring, tint 1/2 cup fondant black, 1/2 cup gray and 1/2 cup burgundy. Knead each until color is fully blended. Fold each ball of tinted fondant into a larger ball of white fondant 2 or 3 times. With a rolling pin, roll out fondant into 1/4-inch-thick pieces (colors will bleed into each other, creating a marbled effect). Cut with heart cookie cutter. Let dry out as you repeat. 5 Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of each cookie to act as glue. Place a fondant heart over each frosted cookie and gently press down. Brush water lightly on fondant where you want to place gold leaf. Cut small pieces of gold leaf from sheets and apply to cookies with tweezers or a small paintbrush.