SUGAR COOKIE CUTOUTS 1/3 c. butter, softened 1/3 c. shortening ¾ c. sugar 1 t. baking powder 1 egg 1 t. vanilla 2 c. flour 1. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer (stop if the motor starts to sound funny and the beaters start slowing down). Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Cover; chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle. (In freezer it will take about 10-15 minutes.) 2. Preheat oven to 375ºF. On a lightly floured surface roll a portion of the dough at a time to a ¼-inch thickness. Cut out with different shapes of cookie cutters. Place cutouts on ungreased cookie sheets. 3. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very light brown. Cool sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. Frost cookies if desired. 4. Makes about 48 2 ½ inch cookies or about 16 5-inch cookies. 5. To store: Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to three days or freeze unfrosted cookies up to three months. Thaw cookies, then frost. ROYAL ICING 3 T. meringue powder ½ c. warm water 4 ½ c. sifted powdered sugar 1 t. vanilla ½ t. cream of tartar Paste or gel food coloring In a medium bowl combine meringue powder, the water, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined; beat on high speed for 7-10 minutes or until mixture is very stiff. Add 1-2 T warm water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing is of glazing consistency. To tint, divide the icing into small portions. Add food coloring to each portion to make desired color. Makes 3 cups.