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Holiday kids cookies

Holiday kids cookies
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

For those of us who love to bake, the holidays can be an especially sweet time of year. This is the season we stock up on festive cookies and family favorites to set out at parties and share with those ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, plus decorating time | Makes about 2 ½ dozen (4-inch) cookies

Sugar cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter, almond or lemon flavor, or as desired
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (14 1/2 ounces) flour

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until fully incorporated, then beat in the vanilla, flavoring and salt. Slowly beat in the flour to form a smooth dough.

Step 3Roll out the dough to just under 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking. (The dough can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen in a sealable plastic bag until ready to use.) . Cut into desired shapes and space about an inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Step 4Bake the cookies until set and barely colored on the edges, 12 to 14 minutes (timing will vary depending on the size and shape of each cookie).

Step 5Cool before decorating with royal icing.

Royal icing

  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Warm water
  • Gel food coloring

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the powdered sugar and meringue powder to combine. Slowly beat in the corn syrup and ¼ cup warm water over high speed until the icing is light and fluffy and forms stiff peaks, 4 to 5 minutes. This makes about 3 cups icing. Divide the icing and color as desired, thinning as needed with additional water.

Note: From Suki Wada. Meringue powder and gel food coloring are available at many cooking and baking supply stores, as well as online.


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