ULTIMATE CUT OUT COOKIES
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter (cold)
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat butter and sugar together.
Add egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
Mix in flour, salt, and baking powder. Mixture will be crumbly, so it is necessary to use hands to knead dough together before rolling out.
Roll dough out 1/8 inch thick onto lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes and once cookie sheet is full, place in freezer for 5 minutes before baking (this will help the cookies keep their shape.) Re-roll scraps. In order to make 35 cookies, I used a 2 1/2 inch diameter cookie cutter.
Bake cookies for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Yields 35 cookies.
Recipe Adapted from Bake at 350.
NUTRITION INFO (1 cookie) Calories: 107, Carbohydrates: 13, Fat: 5, Protein: 2, Fiber: 0
4 tbsp. meringue powder
1/2 cup water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Americolor Icing Coloring
Beat meringue powder and water until foamy. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and beat on low to combine (sifting the powdered sugar is essential to achieve the best texture). Add corn syrup and vanilla extract. Beat until icing becomes shiny and soft peaks form. Add desired Americolor Icing Coloring. If not using icing right away, be sure to cover with plastic wrap immediately to prevent the surface from hardening.
Yields enough icing to frost 35 cookies.
NUTRITION INFO (1/35 of total recipe) Calories: 33, Carbohydrates: 8, Fat: 0, Protein: 0, Fiber: 0
TIPS FOR DECORATING
When making the icing, I sift the powdered sugar using a 5 cup hand crank sifter. You can find one on Amazon for less than $10, and it will improve the smoothness of your icing.
I use Americolor Icing Coloring because it is highly concentrated and the squeeze bottles are easy to use! It is especially good for making red icing.
First, outline cookies using Wilton Tip #3. Next, flood cookies with a solid background color. To do this, slowly add water to the icing until it is the consistency of syrup. Put the thinned icing into Wilton squeeze bottles and then flood the cookies. Use a toothpick to spread the flooded icing all the way to the outlined edges of the cookie.
To add decorative polka dots to the cookies, allow the background icing to set for several minutes first. Use another squeeze bottle to dot the cookies. The background icing should still be wet enough so that the dots settle into the background color, but without mixing. Allow the cookies to sit for several hours for the icing to harden.