Basic Sugar Cookies
* 2 cups all purpose flour , plus extra for rolling
* ½ tsp baking powder
* ¼ tsp salt
* ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
* ½ cup butter, softened slightly
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 3 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
* whites from 2 large eggs
* liquid or gel food coloring (for decorating)
1) Make the cookies: Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon into a bowl; set aside.
2) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar over medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 5 minutes.
3) Add egg and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after mixing.
4) Gradually add flour mixture on low speed and mix just until dough comes together.
5) Flatten dough into a disk and wrap with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
6) Pre-heat oven to 325˚F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
7) Remove dough from the refrigerator and let it stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. Place dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper dusted with flour. Roll out dough until ¼ inch thick. Dust with flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. Place rolled out dough on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.
8) Remove dough from freezer. Immediately cut dough using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Transfer cut dough onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden, rotating pans halfway through baking. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before decorating.
9) Make the icing: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix confectioners’ sugar and egg whites on low speed for about 5 to 8 minutes. Divide icing evenly among 6 bowls.
10) To color the icing, dip the tip of an offset spatula or a toothpick into food coloring and mix into icing. Add by the drop until desired color is achieved.
11) Dip the top side of a cooled cookie in the colored icing. Scrape off excess icing to smoothen the surface.
12) Allow the other bowls of icing to set for 30 minutes to 1 hour to harden slightly. Transfer icing to a small pastry bag and snip off the end to make a small hole. Decorate cookies with accents. Let icing dry completely. To store, place cookies in an air-tight container. Cookies will keep for 2 weeks at room temperature.