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2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more as needed for rolling and work surface
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the egg, vanilla, and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be relatively soft. If the dough seems too soft and sticky for rolling, add 1 more Tablespoon of flour.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and wrap with plastic and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or until the dough is firm enough to roll. Place one portion onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper or a lightly floured surface and with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use more flour if the dough seems too sticky. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
You can also roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to help it from sticking to the table and the rolling pin.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Save the scraps. Repeat with second piece of dough. Press the remaining dough scraps together and chill then continue to roll and cut into cookies until all the dough is used.
Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
Decorate the cooled cookies with royal icing and Christmas sprinkles of your choosing.
These cookies stay soft for about 5 days when covered tightly at room temperature. For longer storage, cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.
1 1/2 Cups Powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk
Whisk all icing ingredients in a bowl. If it seems too thick, add a little more almond milk. It should be smooth, glossy and not runny. If too runny, add more powdered sugar.
You can dip the cookies in the icing, or use brushes, spoons or a squeeze bottle.Make the icing thicker, by using only 1 tablespoon of almond milk. Using a decorating tip, outline the cookies with the thicker icing.
Then add a little more milk to thin it and flood the inside with icing. This way the icing doesn't spill over the cookie edges.