It wouldn't be Christmas without these sugar cookies, but cut out in different shapes for any holiday theme. Best of all, you can bake and decorating them a week before using and store in a plastic container...make sure the icing is dry before you stack and store them.—Lea Reiter, Thousand Oaks, California
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur or additional water
- 4 teaspoons meringue powder
- Food coloring of your choice
- Ribbon, optional
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and liqueur. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Shape dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. ornament-shaped cookie cutters. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. If hanging cookies, make a hole with a plastic straw about 1/2 in. from the top of each cookie.
- Bake 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Use plastic straw to reopen holes in cookies.
- For icing, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water, liqueur and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint with food coloring as desired. (Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.)
- Using pastry bags and small round tips, decorate cookies as desired. Let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Thread ribbon through holes if desired. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.
Originally published as Iced Holiday Ornament Cookies in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2011, p120
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