Sweet Readers Shortbread Cookies
For the Cookies (makes about 24 3” hearts or more if using smaller hearts):
¾ pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated or organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ¼ cups All-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
For the Royal Icing (makes about 2 cups):
3 tablespoons meringue powder
6 tablespoons warm water, plus more as needed
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Mix together the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined.
- Add the vanilla.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt.
- Add powdered mixture to the butter mixture.
- Mix until dough starts to come together.
- Scoop up the dough and place it on a floured board or on waxed paper and shape it into a flat disk.
- Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll the dough ½ inch thick and cut with a 3 –inch heart shaped cookie cutter (you might select any size heart shape, actually!).
- Place cookies, approximately 1 inch apart, on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Let cool to room temperature.
Make the Royal Icing:
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or just a bowl with a whisk) on medium speed, combine the meringue powder and 6 tablespoons warm water. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until blended, then beat on high speed until very thick and smooth about 5 minutes. Beat in more warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the icing it too thick to spread or pipe.
- You may spoon the icing into a bag fitted with a piping attachment, into any bag and then cut one of the bottom corners so allow a bit of the icing to pipe through, or just use a butter knife! You may also want to add a few drops of food coloring to your icing to create whatever colors you like (Sweet Readers colors are pink and blue).