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Look at these little guys.. don't they just look so happy!  Bet they made you smile!  I think its the big eye, tiny smile combo.

Mix up a batch of our favorite cutout cookie dough, cut pumpkins, bake and let cool. After baking mix up some of our favorite royal icing and reserve about an 1/8 of your icing.  Dye the larger amount orange using our Orange Gel Paste Food Coloring.  Dye the smaller reserved icing green using our Mint Green Gel Paste Food Coloring. We like to fold over our icing bag and place in a drinking glass to make filling the bag easy. Royal icing hardens pretty fast so try to quickly get it into your decorating bag, twisting the end of your bag shut, and securing it with a rubber band.

Outline your pumpkin and then flood the inside. We like to flood by squiggling the icing back and forth and then pushing it around with our icing tip to fill in any holes. This technique works really well if your icing is the right consistency.  Not too stiff, not too runny. The icing then settles into a really nice smooth surface. Use the same technique for the green stems. Let dry uncovered overnight.  Add your Jumbo Royal Icing Eyes with a dab of royal icing and a little smile with our Black Edible Ink Pens.

Best Ever Cutout Cookie Recipe

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (or any other flavoring)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and blend well. Add extract and blend. Mix flour and salt and gradually add. Cover dough with plastic wrap (we usually put ours in a gallon size Ziploc bag) and chill dough for about 2 hours. Working with about 1/3 of the batch at a time, briefly knead the chilled dough and roll about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes. Bake cut out cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets at 375 for 12-14 minutes.

You can also freeze the dough. After mixing, put dough in a gallon size Freezer ziploc bag (or wrap well) and freeze. Thaw overnight or for at least a few hours in the refrigerator in the ziploc bag. If too chilled to handle, let sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour until it's workable. Chilled is good, though, don't let it get too warm and soft.

Royal Icing Recipe

This icing is for a traditional royal icing that dries very hard. The icing should cling to the spoon and slowly fall into the bowl. That's the right consistency.  You want the icing to flood nicely, but not so runny that it runs of the side of your cookies.

4 TB meringue powder
1/2 cup water
6-7 cups confectioner's sugar (more or less, see the consistency advice above)
2-6 drops flavoring oil
Gel Paste Food Coloring

Whip the meringue powder and water on high speed for a long time, several minutes, until it's fluffy and peaks form (use an electric hand beater or the wire whisk of your standing mixer). Gradually add the rest of the ingredients to desired consistency. Store at room temperature in a sealed container for up to a month.

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