Black Cat Cookies

Ingredients:

for sugar cookies ---

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup (2 sticks) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup sugar

1 egg

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract {I'm going to say that this is option because I didn't add it and the cookies were still delicious!}

for the royal icing ---

1/2 cup meringue powder

1 scant cup water

32 oz powdered sugar

2 tsp light corn syrup {I used honey instead and it turned out great!}

black food coloring

green food coloring

orange food coloring

special tools ---

#1 pastry tip, #2 pastry tip, two plastic pastry bags, 1 plastic squeeze bottle, toothpick, cat shaped cookie cutter

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with either parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside.

Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and extracts and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients, one cup at a time, and mix only until a soft dough has formed.

Roll dough out to approximately 1/4" thick. Cut cat shapes out of dough and place on a plate. Stick the plate in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Then, peel the cold cookies off the plate and place on the lined baking sheet.

Bake cookies for 9-12 minutes.

Repeat with remaining dough ---- cutting cats out then freezing for five minutes before baking. Let all cookies cool completely before decorating!

Now, make the royal icing. In the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer, beat together the meringue powder and water together until bubbly. Slowly add the powdered sugar while the mixer is on the lowest possible speed. Add the corn syrup {or honey} and continue beating on low speed for five minutes. Crank speed to medium high and beat for another 5 minutes until stiff glossy peaks form. Be careful here because it's possible to overbeat the frosting, which will cause it to go dull. You want it to still be very glossy and fluffy.

Scoop small amounts of icing into three separate small bowls. Add black food coloring to one, orange to the next and green to the final bowl. Mix well.

Fit your #2 tip into a pastry bag and scoop a small amount of black frosting into the bag. VERY SLOWLY trace the frosting around the edges of the cat cookies to form a thin black outline. Repeat with remaining cookies until they are all outlined.

Add about a tablespoon of warm water to the remaining black frosting in the small bowl. Mix well, adding more warm water if necessary, to form an icing that is the same consistency of thick syrup. When you hold up your spoon, it should be a steady stream of icing and not break. This will be your icing that you will use to fill in the cats with. Pour icing into your plastic squeeze bottle and fit the top on tightly. Fill in the cats carefully with this. Then, set them aside to dry for at least an hour.

When the cats are dry, it's time to make the collars. Scoop some orange icing into another pastry bag with your #1 tip. Gently squeeze a thin line of orange icing around the neck of each cat.

Use toothpicks dipped in the green icing to make eyes if you like!

Time:

2 hours

**this recipe makes a TON of royal icing. I recommend cutting it in half!

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