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Penguin Cutouts

Your children can help decorate these cute Christmas cookies. It's a great way to get them involved in the kitchen. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1-1/2 hours + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    3 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons meringue powder
  • Orange, black and red and/or green paste food coloring


  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in sour cream. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough into three balls; cover and refrigerate 3 hours or until easy to handle.
  • Preheat oven to 375°. Remove one portion of dough from the refrigerator at a time. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. penguin cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high 4 minutes or until soft peaks form. Cover frosting with damp paper towels or plastic wrap between uses.
  • Set aside half of frosting. Tint half of the remaining frosting black. Divide remaining frosting in half; tint one orange and the other red and/or green.
  • Working quickly with the black frosting, pipe outlines of the penguins' bodies; fill in with thinned black frosting. Let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Fill in centers of penguins with thinned white frosting; let dry until firm.
  • Add eyes with the black and white frostings, orange noses and feet and red and/or green scarves. Let stand until set. Add white polka dots on the scarves. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
Editor's Note: Meringue powder is available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit The penguin cookie cutter is from Copper Gifts. Call 1-620/421-0654 or visit
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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  • loozerjones
    Jan 1, 2012

    Also to all -These cookies are delicious! I did not make penguins for lack of a penguin-shaped cutter, but I made other Christmas shapes like snowflakes and Christmas trees, and the decorating, which I did with my younger sister, was fun and turned out well! Highly recommend for bonding experiences!

  • loozerjones
    Jan 1, 2012

    @Lindyb1That is true, but your opinion is useless if you haven't actually tried the recipe. Like frelichc said, the point is to show other people what your experience with the recipe was like - if you've had no experience, it's not worth sharing.Maybe it is you who should lighten up.

  • Lindyb1
    Dec 27, 2011

    Lighten up people, everyone us entitled to their opinion. What would be the point of a review if TOH were to censor the opinions.k

  • frelichc
    Dec 15, 2011

    If you haven't made the recipe please don't write a review. I don't care for your opinion on how hard you THINK the cookies might be to make. I want to know if they are good and worth the effort....that would be more useful.</p>

    Dec 15, 2011

    I made these last year with my Mom and my then 4 year old daughter. We had so much fun and my daughter was so proud of her cookies that we weren't allowed to eat them until Santa got his and the rest of ours were gone! lol We will be making these again since it is all I have heard about from my daughter since Halloween! What a great new tradition and memories have come from these cute cookies! Merry Christmas to you all!

  • linlal
    Dec 15, 2011

    Bracious, can you come over to my house and help me with my baking?Please tell your parents on behalf of the rest of us that they have raised a truly talented and wonderful young person. I was very impressed that you were able to make your points so clearly. Bravo!!

  • vieux
    Dec 14, 2011

    To salty1 and Lindyb1Just one question. Are you you the Grinch before your hearts grew more sizes? The intro to the recipe says that the kids can help DECORATE the cookies. When I was in cooking school, for a fund raising for charity we did a cookie decorating party for children. We baked the cookies (sold them for 1$ each) and provided all the frosting, smarties, and sprinkles etc). We showed the kids (aged 4 to 15) how to use piping bags and let them rip. Some of the results were truly horrendous but beautiful because they came from the heart of a child. It was one one most fun and satisfying days of my life. They had fun and so did we. Learn to lighten up a bit.

  • bakermother4
    Dec 14, 2011

    No comment left

  • Bracious
    Dec 14, 2011

    Oh and to further my post, Don't rate it 1 star because you think the description of,"Your children can HELP decorate these cute Christmas cookies." Is ridiculous. It clearly says "help" not do it by themselves. And where did it say that the Children have to make them all by themselves. If your going to make cookies with your children, Obviously you would be in the kitchen SUPERVISING them. And for older children (I'm talking 12+) I'm pretty sure that most have a basic knowledge of Kitchen Etiquette, and they could need no supervision at all. Im glad that a large amount of you stand by my side on this topic, And I thank you. Yes, for young children, this may a complicated recipe. But NEVER underestimate kids like me. Thats the worst thing you can do to your children.

  • allenakt
    Dec 14, 2011

    I already wrote a review, but don't see it posted, so maybe I screwed up. I will make this recipe with my grandkids, maybe even use a cartoon cookie cutter, and let them decorate anyway they want. all four of them are under 7, and no matter how the cookies may look, they will be proud of there accomplishment.makin and decorating the cookies is half the fun (showing them off is the other half) christmas is all about the little kids, so let's enjoy them.