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Article posted: 1/1/2013 6:00 AM

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Royal icing

cup meringue powder

1 cup scant (not quite full) water

2 pounds powdered sugar

2 teaspoons corn syrup

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk flour and baking powder together. Set aside.

In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract; mix until well combined. Add flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, mixing on low speed. Mixture will look thick and crumbly.

Prepare rolling surface with a bit of flour. Roll dough and cut shapes and place onto cookie sheets. Bake 9-12 minutes. Let cool completely before decorating.

For the icing: Mix meringue powder and water until foamy. Sift in powdered sugar and, with mixer on low, add corn syrup. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with spatula. Increase speed to medium-low and beat for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and continue beating until icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. Use as desired; refrigerate leftovers.

Makes 12 to 18 cookies and enough frosting for several dozen cookies.

"Decorating Cookies" by Bridget Edwards

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