Easter Cookies

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You can cut these Easter cookies into any shape you want, and the recipe can be adapted for Christmas if you add some ginger along with the other spices. If you want to hang the cookies on the tree, make a hole in them to thread ribbon through.
Yields about 30 cookies, depending on shape and size
18 tablespoons (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) butter, softened
3/4 cup superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 eggs, separated
2 3/4 cups unbleached flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons candied orange and/or lemon peel
2 tablespoons milk

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Lightly grease a couple of baking sheets or silicone mats.

Step 2

Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the egg whites, stirring well to make a soft dough.

Step 3

Put the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into your preferred shapes and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg whites. Brush the cookies with the whites and sprinkle with a little superfine sugar. Return to the oven and bake for a further 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Adapted from Sarah Raven's "Fresh from the Garden," published by Universe Books with photos by Jonathan Buckley.

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