Silver Bell Sugar Cookies
Makes about 24
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Royal Icing:
- 1 (2-pound) bag confectioners’ sugar
- 5 tablespoons meringue powder
- ¾ cup plus 1 teaspoon water, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
- Silver luster dust
- Gold luster dust
- Vodka, for paint
- Red gel food coloring
- Green gel food coloring
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line 3 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- For cookies: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg, beating well. Beat in vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until a dough forms. Divide dough in half. On a heavily floured surface, roll half of dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 3½-inch bell-shaped cutter, cut dough, and place on prepared pans. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake until lightly browned around the edges, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
- For Royal Icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder at medium speed until well combined. Add ¾ cup water and extract, and beat until icing is the consistency of toothpaste, 4 to 5 minutes. Place icing in a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #3 tip. Pipe outline of bells. Pipe a handle at top and a semicircle at bottom of each bell. Reserve ½ cup of white icing.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup icing and remaining 1 teaspoon water to make flood icing. Place thinner flood icing in a squeeze bottle, and fill in outline of bells. Let dry.
- Using 2 small bowls, place silver luster dust in one and gold in the other. Stir vodka into each to create thin paints. Paint body of bells silver, and paint handles and bells gold.
- Using reserved white icing, set aside a small amount for berries. Divide remaining icing between 2 small bowls. Add red food coloring to one bowl and green to the other, stirring to combine. Place in piping bags fitted with Wilton #2 tips. Pipe a red bow in top center of each bell. Starting in the center by the red bow, pipe green stems on each side extending outward to the edge of the bell. Use the set-aside white icing to pipe 3 small white berries on each green stem near the bow. Let dry. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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