Another tried-and-true cookie recipe I use each Christmas that really needed an updated post!

The best cut-out cookie I’ve ever had. Easy dough to work with, and delicious depth of flavor. I love them.

The Most Fabulous Sugar Cookies

(Good Things Catered – alas, she no longer blogs)

1 1/2 cups butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 Tbsp lemon zest

5 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Powdered sugar, for rolling

Directions for Cookies

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.

-Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.

-Add vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.

-Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time.

-Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.
-Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away.

-Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes.

-Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.

Ashlee says this makes 80, and Katie got about 30 on the recipe I saw on her blog. I did small-ish cut-outs and got about 50. It really depends on your thickness and the size of your cookie, how many you’ll get.

Royal Icing

(Bake at 350 – don’t hesitate to visit her site and read her royal icing tutorial!!)

(This will cover 2-3 dozen 3.5 inch cookies in 2 colors; I usually double this recipe.)

4 TBSP meringue powder (You can purchase this in the cake isles at AC Moore)
scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
few drops clear extract (optional – with this cookie recipe I include almond extract)

Directions for Icing

– Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.

– Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

– Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. ( I think the corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny.)

– Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.

– (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

– Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

– This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding."

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