Jenny Park ( http://spoonforkbacon.com ): Eat them. Gift them. Make them into ornaments. You'll definitely get a bang for your buck with these delicious and versatile sugar cookies. The secret to this treat is the royal icing that does double duty as both an all-over glaze and a frosting you can use in a piping bag to create detailed designs. What are you waiting for? Get the little ones in the kitchen and get baking! Happy holidays!
Makes 2 dozen
2 cups (240 g) all purpose flour
½ tsp (2.5 mL) baking powder
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
¾ cup (80 g) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
½ tbsp (8 mL) heavy cream
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
3 egg whites
4 cups (400g) powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract
food colorings of choice
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Set aside. Place the butter and sugar in another mixing bowl and cream together with a hand mixer, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add egg, cream and vanilla. Beat mixture together until well combined.
Pour flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon until a dough forms and no lumps remain. Wrap dough into a disc with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes.
Sprinkle a small amount of flour and powdered sugar onto a clean surface and roll dough out until ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Use holiday cookie cutters of your choice cut out the cookies and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies begin to lightly brown on the edges. Cool completely before decorating.
While cookies cool, make the icing: Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until frothy, 2 to 3 minutes. Begin adding the sugar to the egg whites, ½ cup at a time and beat for an additional 3 minutes or until the mixture is thick, shiny and meringue-like.
Divide icing into a few small bowls and add a couple drops of food coloring (your choice) to each bowl and gently stir until fully incorporated. Pour each color of icing into a different piping bag with a piping tip and begin decorating the cookies.
While the icing is still wet add the other decorative items to the cookies and set aside to dry. Once the icing has completely dried, serve.
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