1 cup or 2 sticks butter
2 ¼ cup sugar
3 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp flavor extract (optional, your choice)
Cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl then add the egg and flavor extract, mixing well. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt together before adding in small portions to the butter mixture, combining well after each addition.
Divide the dough into portions, roll out each between 2 plastic sheets, till about 5mm thick. Place the rolled out sheets of cookie dough onto a baking tray to be chilled in the fridge, preferably overnight.
Before baking, preheat oven to 350F. Remove cookie dough sheets from the fridge and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place cut shapes onto a cookie tray lined with silicone sheet or parchment paper, leaving about an inch between each cookie to allow for expansion. Re-roll the scraps of cookie dough into new sheets and chill it before repeating the whole process.
Bake for 8-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies, until the edges start turning brown. Cool the cookies completely before decorating with icing.
500g icing sugar
3 tbs meringue powder
8-12 tbs water
Sift together the dry ingredients and mix with water. Add more if the consistency is too stiff in order to get a suitable piping consistency. Add more water to get a consistency for flooding the outlines. Use only food colour gel to get the shade desired.
I used a a #2 piping tip for the outlines and a #3 or #4 tip for flooding.