My neighbour would always make a big batch of theses cookies for me and my siblings every Christmas when we were younger. It was always a fight between us to get the most cookies - and they definitely never lasted for long! They are one of the easiest and best sugar cookie recipes I have ever tried.. perfect to leave out for Santa ;)
1/3 cup butter
1 and 1/4 cup white sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. orange or lemon juice
2 Tbsp. milk
In a bowl, cream butter the sugar together with a mixer. Add in the eggs and beat to combine.
Whisk together flour and baking powder. Add the flour, juice, and milk to the creamed mixture and mix well.
If the dough is too crumbly then add a small bit of milk until it sticks together. Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for 1-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place the rack in the centre of the oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle. Cut into shapes using lightly floured cookie cutters and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely on wire racks before icing.
2 large pasteurized egg whites
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. flavoured extract (vanilla, lemon, almond)
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
With a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice and extract until combined. Add the sifted icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. Add food coloring if using. Spread or pipe onto cooled sugar cookies.
The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use. Allow the icing to harden completely before storing or packaging the cookies.