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LAist Cookie Exchange: Subversive Sugar Cookies

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These sugar cookies are light and yummy. But that isn't why I make them. I make them because the recipe calls for decorative icing. Which means I can write subversive sayings and cuss words on them in viscous sugary goodness.

Cookie Ingredients:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 of an egg yolk, slightly beaten (save the rest of egg if you want to put colored sugar or sprinkles on the cookies)
1 cup all-purpose flour

Combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, egg yolk, and extracts in a large bowl and mix them together slightly. Beat them together until they are smooth. Slowly add the flour and beat until well combined. Chill the dough for eight hours or overnight.

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Preheat an oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out a third of the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut shapes out of the dough with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place cookies about an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Leave them plain for baking if you are going to ice the cookies; or brush the cookies lightly with slightly beaten egg white and put colored sugar or sprinkles on them before putting them in the oven to bake.

Bake the cookies for about seven minutes, or until golden-brown. Cool the cookies completely before icing.

Icing recipe and instructions after the jump.

Icing Ingredients:
2 egg whites
4 and 1/2 cups of confectioner sugar
juice of 1 lemon
food colors

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Decorating sugar cookies with icing is easy if you do it right. Make some icing that thick enough to act as a barrier around the cookie borders, and make some icing that is thin enough to easily spread about the cookies. The icing can be colored with food coloring.

Beat the egg whites until they become stiff. Add the lemon juice and 4 cups of the confectioner sugar and beat for another minute. Take some of the icing out of the beater bowl and set it aside. This icing will be fairly thin. You can add food coloring to this icing, or divide it into several bowls to make several different colors. Add 1/2 cup confectioner sugar to the icing in the original beater bowl and combine well. This icing will be fairly thick and suitable for creating a barrier around the cookie border to prevent the icing from dripping off. Food coloring can be added to this as well if desired. If you find that your icing is too thin at any point, just add more confectioner sugar. If it is too thick, mix in some more egg white.

To decorate the cookies, spoon the thicker icing into an icing bag with a tip. Use it to outline the borders of all of your cookies and to create any prominent designs on the cookie. You must outline the cookies with the thick icing if you don't want the thinner icing to slide off. I used thick icing to outline and write "eat us" on the cookies in the above photo.

After the thin icing has hardened slightly, spoon the thin icing into another icing bag. It is very thin, so be careful not to spill it. Use the tip of the pastry bag to place several little dots of thin icing on your cookies. The icing should be thin enough that it just spreads about the cookie on its own without you having to spread it manually. After a few seconds the little icing dots all spread out to connect to each other, leaving a uniform icing layer. I used this thin icing to make a red background for my "eat us" cookies. Leave the icing for an hour to harden. Admire your culinary artistry. Then, eat the cookies.

This recipe should yield about 30 cookies.

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Photo by Mialka Bonadonna for LAist.