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   Ingredients :
2 cups flour
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon salt
cup soft unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
teaspoon vanilla

Royal Icing:
1 egg white
9 oz (250 g) confectioner’s sugar, approximately
Juice of 1 lemon


Combine flour with baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Place butter with sugar in the mixer and beat until it is soft and pale. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed and add flour mixture until just combined. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Roll out dough on a floured surface and cut cookies with Christmas shape cutters. Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, switching positions halfway through baking, until edges start to brown. Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes. Transfer to a rack with a metal spatula and cool completely. Make more cookies with remaining dough and place them on cooled baking sheets.

Cookies may be decorated for various occasions with Royal Icing. Icing may be colored with food coloring and placed in pastry bag fitted with a # 1 or #2 decorating tip.

Cookies can also be formed in 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter cylinders and wrapping the dough in plastic wrap, twisting ends tightly. Refrigerate cylinders for 4 to 5 hours until firm.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Cut inch (1/2 cm) slices and place them on ungreased cookie sheets, 1 inch (2 cm) apart. Chill remaining cylinder wrapped in plastic wrap. Bake as before.

Royal Icing:
Beat egg whites until frothy. Add sugar and continue beating until icing is stiff and forms peaks. Add lemon juice. Beat in food coloring, if using. Lemon juice may be substituted for 1 tablespoon of boiled water.

Bowl with icing must be covered with a damp cloth while not in use. This mixture may be prepared and refrigerated for 1 week.
        Yields: 4 dozens
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