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Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon of extract of your choice (could be lemon, almond, vanilla)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.

3. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy.

4. Add eggs and extract.

5. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture little by little; mix until combined. (do not over mix or cookies will spread when baking)

6. Divide the dough in half and shape it into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

7. Transfer dough to a flat work area and roll between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick.

8. Put the rolled dough back in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. (use a baking sheet for dough).

9. Get the cookie dough out and cut out your cookies. Space them 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Reroll scraps and cut out again as necesary.

10. Bake cookies until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

Royal Icing

Royal icing has been used for centuries to decorate cookies, candies, cakes and gingerbread houses. It provides a polished and smooth finish to your edible goodies.

Ingredients:

4 Cups shifted confectioner's sugar
3 Tablespoons of meringue powder
6 Tablespoons of warm water
2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the powdered sugar and the meringue powder.

2. Whisk them together on medium speed.

3. Add 6 tablespoons of warm water to the mixture little by little and add the lemon juice.

4. Beat until the icing is stiff and fluffy.

5. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Cookies can then be placed in the refrigerator as long as they are in a cello bag, tight with ribbon, or in an air tight container, and not over lapping.

If You Want Flood Icing (thin icing)

Adjust the amount of water. Adding just a few drops of water at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.