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Nutcracker Butter Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling

Makes

1 dozen

These cookies are a perfect activity for the entire family. Decorate them as creatively as you'd like and give your children the option of decorating their own too!—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
Nutcracker Butter Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ROYAL ICING:
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • Paste food coloring of your choice

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a 6-in. nutcracker cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
  3. For icing, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint as desired with food coloring. (Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.)
  4. Using pastry bags and small round tips, decorate cookies as desired. Let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Store in an airtight container.

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