- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ROYAL ICING:
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 4 teaspoons meringue powder
- Red, green, yellow, turquoise and purple paste food coloring
- In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Shape dough into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For icing, in a bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until blended. Beat on high 4-5 minutes or until soft peaks form.
- Divide and tint icing with colors of your choice. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.
- Working quickly with one color at a time, pipe outlines on some of the cookies; fill centers with thinned icing of the same color. Let stand until set.
- If desired, add designs or writing to cookies. Let stand at room temperature for several hours or until icing is completely firm. Store in airtight containers. Yield: about 3 dozen.
Originally published as Festive Butter Cookies in Taste of Home Christmas Country Style 2009 2009, p30
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