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Cookies with royal icing

December 15, 2010

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Makes about 3 dozen

COOKIES

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 to 2 tablespoons milk (if necessary)
Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.

3. Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk the flour and baking powder to blend them. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, add the flour 1 cup at a time to the batter. If mixture is too stiff, add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. If mixture is too sticky, add a little more flour. Shape into a disk, cover, and refrigerate 20 minutes.

4. On a surface dusted lightly with confectioners’ sugar, roll out half the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Dip cutters into sugar. Stamp out cookies and transfer to the baking sheets. Roll out and stamp out remaining dough.

5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool.

ICING

2 cups ( 1/2 pound) confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder (available at cake decorating supply stores)
2 to 4 tablespoons water

1. In an electric mixer, combine the confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder, and 2 tablespoons water. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mixture isn’t wet enough.

2. Beat at medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes until icing forms stiff peaks. Use a pastry bag to decorate the cookies.

Adapted from Lorraine’s School of Cake Decorating