For the Sugar Cookies:
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- Pinch of salt
For the Royal Icing:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Gel food coloring (optional)
- Prepare the Sugar Cookie Dough:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract (if using). Mix until well combined.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms.
- Divide the dough into two portions, shape each into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Roll and Cut the Cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out one disc of chilled dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes.
- Place the cut-out cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving space between each.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the Royal Icing:
- In a bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and meringue powder. Add water and vanilla extract, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until glossy and stiff peaks form.
- If using gel food coloring, divide the icing into separate bowls and tint each with desired colors.
- Decorate the Cookies:
- Once the cookies are completely cool, use a piping bag or small brush to outline and fill in the cookies with royal icing.
- Allow the icing to set before adding additional details or layers. You can use different colors to create intricate designs.
- Once the icing is fully set, the cookies are ready to be enjoyed. Serve and share these classic sugar cookies with your family and friends.
- Chilling cookie dough: 1 hour
- Baking cookies: 8-10 minutes per batch
Serving Size: This recipe yields approximately 24-36 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.