To prepare cookies, place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Beat in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt), stirring well with a whisk. Add to butter mixture; beat well. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface (dough will be soft). Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion to an 8-inch circle between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Freeze dough 20 minutes or until plastic wrap can be easily removed.
Working with 1 portion of dough at a time (keep remaining dough in freezer), remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Cut dough with a 3-inch cookie cutter, dipping cutter in flour between each use; place cookies on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Discard bottom sheet of plastic wrap; reserve remaining dough scraps. Repeat procedure with remaining frozen dough.
Gently gather reserved dough into a ball; repeat rolling, freezing, and cutting procedure.
Bake at 375° for 8 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack.
To prepare vanilla icing, combine 1 cup powdered sugar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a fork until combined. Drizzle icing over the cookies, or spoon into a small zip-top plastic bag; cut a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag, and pipe designs onto cookies.
Freezing the dough before cutting makes these low-fat cookies crunchy.
I love these cookies! As another reviewer suggested, I used parchment paper and didn't have much trouble working with the dough. (Freezing it really helped.) Instead of drizzling the icing, I just dipped the top of the cookies in the icing and they came out great. I left some plain, and I absolutely love the not-too-sweet taste.
@L. If you want to make THAT many changes to the recipe, I suggest you look for another recipe to try. These cookies were very good and low fat. All cut out cookies are time consuming and I found these no different. Bake a drop sugar cookie if you don't want to take the time to do this type.
I agree with a previous reviewer. Way too much work. The dough sticks to the plastic wrap making it impossible to actually pull a cut out off without ruining it. 2 dough portions in I gave up and threw it all away!!!
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