Penguin Cutouts

Total Time

Prep: 1-1/2 hours + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling


3 dozen

Updated: Nov. 29, 2023
Your children can help decorate these cute Christmas cookies. It’s a memory-making way to get them involved in the kitchen. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen


  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 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, red and green paste food coloring
  • Edible ink pen, optional


  1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. 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 3 balls; cover and refrigerate 3 hours or until easy to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°. Remove dough from the refrigerator, 1 portion 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.
  3. Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  4. 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.
  5. Set aside half the frosting to remain white. Tint half the remaining frosting black. Divide the rest into thirds; tint 1 orange, 1 red and 1 green. Store frostings in airtight containers when not in use. Beat again on high speed to restore texture as needed between uses.
  6. 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.
  7. Add eyes with the black and white frostings or edible-ink pen. Add orange beaks and feet and red and green scarves. Let stand until set. Add white and contrasting-colored polka dots on the scarves. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 139 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 56mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.