(adapted from Martha Stewart)
4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c. sugar
1 large eggs
2 t. pure vanilla extract or lemon juice and zest
In a large bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking powder.
In electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in eggs.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until combined.
Stir in vanilla extract or lemon juice and zest.
Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick.
Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
Place on ungreased baking sheets and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until edges just start to brown.
Cool on wire racks before icing.
Makes about 16 cookies.
1 large egg whites, or more to thin icing
2 c. sifted confectioners' sugar, or more to thicken icing
juice of 1 lemon
3 drops glycerin (optional)
liquid or paste food coloring, optional
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.
Add sugar, lemon juice, and optional glycerin.
Beat for 1 minute more.
If icing is too thick, egg more egg white; if too thin, add more sugar.
Use liquid or paste food coloring, or leave the icing white.
Spoon the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip to decorate cookies.
Let iced cookies dry overnight.