Holiday kids cookies

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes about 2 ½ dozen (4-inch) cookies
Holiday kids cookies
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Sugar cookies


Heat the oven to 350 degrees.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until fully incorporated, then beat in the vanilla, flavoring and salt. Slowly beat in the flour to form a smooth dough.


Roll out the dough to just under 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking. (The dough can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen in a sealable plastic bag until ready to use.) . Cut into desired shapes and space about an inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.


Bake the cookies until set and barely colored on the edges, 12 to 14 minutes (timing will vary depending on the size and shape of each cookie).


Cool before decorating with royal icing.

Royal icing


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the powdered sugar and meringue powder to combine. Slowly beat in the corn syrup and ¼ cup warm water over high speed until the icing is light and fluffy and forms stiff peaks, 4 to 5 minutes. This makes about 3 cups icing. Divide the icing and color as desired, thinning as needed with additional water.

From Suki Wada. Meringue powder and gel food coloring are available at many cooking and baking supply stores, as well as online.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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