Sugar Cookie Cutouts

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1/3  cup butter, softened
1/3  cup shortening
3/4  cup sugar
1  teaspoon baking powder
  Dash salt
1   egg
1  teaspoon vanilla
2  cups all-purpose flour
1  tablespoon milk
   Powdered Sugar Glaze
4  cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4  to 1/3 cup milk
   Pink, violet, leaf green, or lemon yellow food coloring
   Decorative Frosting
4   cups sifted powdered sugar
3  tablespoons milk
   Pink, violet, leaf green, or lemon yellow food coloring

1. Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 2-1/2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool on a rack. Makes about 36 cookies. 

3. To decorate, glaze with white or tinted Powdered Sugar Glaze. Let dry. Prepare Decorative Frosting. Pipe dots or lines with white or tinted Decorative Frosting. Let dry. Or, for swirled tops, glaze cookies as above. Using 1 teaspoon of milk at a time, thin some of the white or tinted Decorative Frosting until drizzling consistency. Scatter dots of thinned frosting on top of freshly glazed stars. To swirl, pull a wooden toothpick through dots. 

Powdered Sugar Glaze: In a medium mixing bowl combine 4 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1/4 cup milk. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until glaze is easy to drizzle. Tint as desired with food coloring.
Decorative Frosting: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together 4 cups of powdered sugar and the 3 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting is easy to pipe. Tint frosting as desired with food coloring.
Make-Ahead Tip: Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Place in an airtight or freezer container. Chill up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator before using. Or, bake and cool cookies completely. Do not frost. In an airtight or freezer container, arrange cookies in a single layer; cover with a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat layers, leaving enough air space to close container easily. Seal, label, and freeze up to 1 month.

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens
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