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1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla or cheesecake pudding
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Cream the butter, powdered sugar and instant pudding very well until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the egg, vanilla and almond extract. Add the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar and mix until just combined. Form dough into a ball and wrap well. Chill for 1 hour. After chilling, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough out 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until a light golden brown edge appears on cookies. Frost with Cream Cheese or Royal Icing frosting (below).
Royal Icing Frosting
1 cup C&H (in the box) powdered sugar
5 Tablespoons meringue powder
Scant 1/2 cup water (just shy of 1/2 cup)
Beat all ingredients in a mixer or with a hand mixer for 7 to 8 minutes. Scoop some in a bowl and color it with desired food coloring. Then, a teaspoon at a time, add water until it just becomes runny. Fill a pastry bag with a #3 tip. Outline the cookie and, then with zigzags, fill the center. With a toothpick, brush the frosting to fill in all the holes. If it doesn’t smooth out, your frosting is too thick.