If orange food coloring isn't available, combine red and yellow to create an orange hue.
5.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
6 to 10 drops orange food coloring
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Place butter and granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg whites and vanilla; beat 1 minute or until well combined. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Spoon dough onto a 12-inch-long sheet of plastic wrap; gently press mixture into a ball. Wrap and chill dough for 1 hour.
Divide dough in half. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut into desired shapes with 2 1/4- to 3 1/4-inch cookie cutters (wrap and refrigerate remaining dough portion to keep it chilled). Place cookies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until cookies are firm in the center. Cool 2 minutes on pan. Remove cookies from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Scrape icing into a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Snip a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag with scissors; decorate cookies as desired with icing.
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