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Since I'm all for new traditions, and getting my kids involved and engaged, I thought some cookie painting was in order.  It involves some sugar cookies, some kids, some patience, and some cleaning supplies. 

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The Cookies:  

These are the easiest and tastiest sugar cookies on the planet

1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
                                                                   1 t. salt
                                                                   2 ½ c. sifted flour

Directions:
Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour. Chill dough until firm. Roll to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown.  Personally I set my timer for 8 minutes and they were perfect, I have found the trick to a perfect sugar cookie is to take it out well before you *think* it's done.  Perhaps 35 cookies...I never know since I always eat batter, and the kids steal some from me too.


The Frosting:
For these cookies, I'm using Royal Icing.  This one picked up from the Joy of Cooking website.  I have heard people say in the past that they have "Royally" screwed up Royal Icing (get it, get it..ha-ha) but this was my first time attempting it, and I thought it was perfect.  

2 large (60 grams) egg whites


2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted


P.S. This recipe calls for sifting the sugar...I hate sifting, so I didn't, and it didn't affect my frosting so far as I could tell.  

The Paint: 

Litte bit of corn syrup, little bit of food color, mix to your preferred depth of color!  Use cheapie paint brushes to paint the colors onto the cookies.  And go crazy! 

Some Additional Notes: 
If I had to do it again...I would probably not involve the kids in the cookie process.  I involved my toddlers in the WHOLE THING, and I think my blood pressure has gone up indefinitely.  Also,  do yourself a favor and put some type of barrier between the table and the kids, as the corn syrup is really sticky.  I imagine that's something most moms would think of, but just in case you didn't think of it, do it.