- 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream (substitute in brandy or amaretto if that’s how you roll)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- optional: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract or 1 tablespoon lemon zest
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a bowl. Cream butter, sugar, and salt. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; mix well. Add dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated. Shape dough into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use parchment paper or silicone baking mats on cookie sheets.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into shapes and transfer to baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Re-roll (cooling off in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes as necessary) and recut dough scraps. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Royal icing is what you use when you want the frosting to firm up and not smudge. If you’re using liquid dyes to color your icing, add water conservatively to allow for the liquid in the dyes.
- 1 box (1 pound) powdered sugar
- 2 egg whites (either real ones or powdered, which I prefer)
- 1/4- 1/2 cup water
Preferably with the help of a hand mixer, mix the sugar, egg whites, and a little water at a time beating the icing till all the tiny lumps are gone (and you really want to make sure you get those lumps out so you don’t yell at your pastry bag when it gets clogged up with those pesky lumps, thereby frightening your cats). You’ll need less water if you’re using fresh egg whites, so add it just a bit at time until you get the consistency you need. Add dye if you’re using it and mix well. Credit: beetgoeson.blogspot.com
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