Photo: Helen Norman; Styling: Carrie Purcell 
Hands-on Time
1 Hour
Total Time
4 Hours 10 Mins
Makes 2 dozen

Because a large batch of the dough is tricky to work with, we don't recommend doubling this recipe.

How to Make It

Step 1

Beat butter and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Whisk together powdered sugar, flour, and baking powder. Gradually add sugar mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Flatten dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour to 3 days.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°. Place dough on a lightly floured surface; roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with desired cookie cutters. Place 8 cookies 1/2 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 3

Bake at 350° for 12 to 13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely (about 20 minutes).

Step 4

Follow the wet-on-wet icing technique to decorate cookies (see Elegantly Ice with Ease, below). Let dry 1 hour.

Step 5

Elegantly Ice with Ease

Step 6

Using royal icing (such as Thin Royal Icing) with a wet consistency, pipe a thin border around the edge of the cookie. Fill in the center of the cookie with an even layer of icing.

Step 7

To smooth the surface, swirl a wooden pick in a circular motion around the entire pool of icing, starting at the edges and moving toward the center.

Step 8

Immediately pipe another color of icing, the same consistency as the first, onto the base layer of icing. Manipulate the design gently with a wooden pick.

Ratings & Reviews

Picture Misleading

April 03, 2015
The cookies TASTE great but it's really hard to get them into an egg shape. They rise a lot and there's no way that that's an actual picture of the cookies because they rise so much. They are flaky, like shortbread, as it should be

KristinBaby's Review

April 22, 2014

detailaddict's Review

April 16, 2014
This might be a good recipe were it not for the baking powder. I didn't think much of it when making the dough but looking at other shortbread recipes there is no leaving included. I tried using this recipe to make Easter cookies of various shapes (bunny, chick, lamb) but the cookies rose so much that they lost almost all of their shape and would be a joke to decorate and serve. I'm not going to make all egg-shaped cookies, so I don't know what I'll do with the rest of the dough. I won't waste ingredients on this recipe again.