Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies
Yields: 2 dozen
3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar
2 sticks (salted) butter, cold & cut into chunks
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.
The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.
Roll on a floured surface to about 1/4" to 3/8" thick, and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I recommend freezing the cut out shape on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Yields: Covers 2-3 dozen 3.5 inch cookies
4 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp light corn syrup
few drops clear extract (optional)
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.
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.