1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (12 ounce) package white chocolate morsels, divided
Silver & white edible glitter
Sparkling white sugar
Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Carefully scrape out seeds, using a small sharp knife. Set seeds aside.
Beat butter in large mixing bowl at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla bean seeds, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract, mixing well.
Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until smooth. Shape dough into four discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill at least one hour. Roll each disc to 1/4" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with 3" or 4" snowflake, star, angel or Christmas tree cutters. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350º for 8-10 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool one minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire racks and cool completely.
Combine 1/2 cup white chocolate morsels and one Tablespoon shortening in a one-cup glass measure. Melt morsels according to package directions.
Place cookies on a wire rack over wax paper. Pour or spread white chocolate mixture over each cookie, tilting cookie to coat completely. Sprinkle cookies with glitter and sparkling sugar. Let stand until frosting hardens. Repeat procedure with remaining white morsels, shortening, glitter and sugar until all cookies are decorated.
Yield: 3 dozen.
Giant Snowflakes: Use a 6" copper snowflake cookie cutter to yield one dozen big cookies that bake for 12 minutes. Before baking, poke holes in each cookie with a drinking straw. Once decorated and dried, wrap cookies in cellophane bags and tie them with ribbon. Then tape each ribbon to the top of the mantel using masking tape, then cover the tape with white plastic bags and the bags with pots of poinsettias.