Makes about 3 dozen cookies
|1||cup butter, softened|
|1/2||teaspoon lemon extract|
|3||cups all-purpose flour|
|1||teaspoon baking powder|
|Egg Yolk Paint|
|Liquid or paste food coloring|
|Small, clean craft paintbrushes and clean kitchen sponges|
- Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, lemon extract and vanilla until well blended (mixture will look grainy). Beat in 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt until well blended. Gradually add remaining 2 cups flour. Beat at low speed until soft dough forms.
- Divide dough into 3 discs. Wrap discs in plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours or until dough is firm.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Working with 1 disc at a time, unwrap dough and place on lightly floured surface. Roll out dough with lightly floured rolling pin to 1/8-inch thickness.
- Cut dough with lightly floured 3- to 4-inch cookie cutters. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Gently press dough trimmings together; reroll and cut out more cookies. (If dough is sticky, pat into disc; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm before rerolling.)
- To paint cookies before baking, prepare Egg Yolk Paint. Divide paint among several bowls; tint with liquid food coloring, if desired. Paint yolk paint onto unbaked cookies with small, clean craft paintbrushes.
- Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set. Remove cookies to wire rack; cool completely.
- To sponge paint cooled cookies, prepare Royal Icing. Divide icing among several bowls; tint with food coloring. For best results, use 2 to 3 shades of same color. (If icing is too thick, stir in water, 1 drop at a time, with spoon until of desired consistency.) Spread thin layer of icing on cookies to within 1/8 inch of edges. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature or until icing is set.
- Cut clean kitchen sponge into 1-inch squares with scissors. Dip sponge into tinted icing, scraping against side of bowl to remove excess icing. Gently press sponge on base icing several times until desired effect is achieved. Let stand 15 minutes or until icing is set.
- To pipe additional decorations on cookies, prepare Decorator Frosting. Tint frosting as desired. Place each color frosting in piping bag fitted with small writing tip or resealable freezer bags with one small corner cut off. Decorate as desired. Let cookies stand at room temperature until piping is set.
- Store cookies loosely covered at room temperature up to 1 week.
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