Decorated Traditional Christmas Cookies

3/4 cup Softened butter (unsalted)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Whole Egg
2 1/4 cups White flour
1 tbsp Lemon zest
1-2 tbsp Water

Icing Ingredients:

3 Egg whites
2-3 tsp Water
1 pound Powdered sugar
Your favorite food colorings and decorations

Beat sugar and butter together in bowl using electric mixer, til fluffy and light. Add the egg, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt, beating again. Gradually mix in the flour, until well incorporated. Add the water, a little at a time, until dough comes away from sides of bowl to form a clump. Wrap dough in clear wrap to chill in refrigerator until firm, few hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Then lightly oil or grease baking sheets. On a (lightly) floured cutting board or surface, roll dough to 1/8″ thickness. Cut into various shapes using your favorite cookie cutters. Cut small holes in dough if you wish to hang the cookies as ornaments. Bake for 11-15 min., until cookies are starting to get golden brown around the edges. Remove the cookies to wire racks, and allow to cool completely before decorating with icing.

Icing Directions:

Beat the egg whites in a bowl using an electric mixer, until they become foamy. At this point, gradually mix in the powdered sugar, mixing until creamy. Make sure to add only enough water for optimum spreading texture and consistency. Tint icing with various food colorings, if desired. Spread icing evenly over cookie tops. Decorate iced cookies with your favorite candies, sprinkles or other decorations.

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