Decorate Your Own Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
  3. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with desired cutter.
  5. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Royal Icing

4lbs {two bags} confectioner’s sugar
3/4 c. meringue powder
1 1/3-1 1/2 c. warm water
2-4 tbsp. oil-free extract or flavoring

  1. Add the dry ingredients first. Use your mixer’s whisk attachment to incorporate the sugar and meringue powder.
  2. Add the extract to the water and slowly add it to the dry ingredients while mixing. At first, the icing will be very liquid-like.
  3. Continue to mix it at medium-high speed until it is fluffy, about 7 minutes. Store refrigerated for up to 1 month.