These cookies are a perfect activity for the entire family. Decorate them as creatively as you'd like and give your children the option of decorating their own too!—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
- 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:
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- Paste food coloring of your choice
- In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a 6-in. nutcracker cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
- For icing, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint as desired with food coloring. (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. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 1 dozen.
Originally published as Nutcracker Butter Cookies in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2010, p24
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