2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Sanding sugar, for decorating
3 large egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
16 oz. confectioners’ sugar
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Shape dough into 4 disks and roll each between 2 sheets parchment paper to 1⁄4 inch thick. Chill until firm, 30 minutes in refrigerator or 15 minutes in freezer.
Heat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using floured cookie cutters, cut out cookies. If desired, use straw to make holes in tops of cookies for hanging. Place on pre- pared sheets. Reroll, chill and cut scraps.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are light golden brown around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Make Royal Icing: Using electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until just incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat until medium-stiff glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Tint as desired with gel food coloring.
Decorate as desired with icing and sanding sugar.