These are some of my favorite recipes for cookies and icing. I prefer a soft cookie with lots of flavor. These recipes give me consistent results and are crowd pleasers. They have been customized to fit my preferences, my oven, and my altitude. You may need to play with the recipes to make them fit your individual needs.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) of salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla or other flavoring
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions: Cream the butter and sugar together. Then add the egg and flavoring and mix on low speed. Finally, add the baking powder and flour a little at a time. Roll between sheets of parchment paper and chill for 1-4 hours before cutting and baking. For flavoring, I highly recommend LorAnn’s bakery emulsions for flavor that won’t bake out.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes

Royal Icing 

1/4 cup meringue powder
3/4 cup warm water
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 Tablespoon vegetable glycerin
1 Tablespoon clear, oil free flavoring of choice

Start with 3/4 cup warm water. Add the meringue powder and whisk it with a sauce whisk for 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour into a stand mixer bowl and add all other ingredients. Mix on medium low until smooth. The icing will be a thick flooding consistency

When you are done, separate into bowls and color with gel food colors. To adjust the consistency, thin with small amounts of water or thicken with powdered sugar if you are piping something that needs a stiffer icing, such as flowers or leaves. Store icing in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to a week, or the freezer for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature and mix well before using.