A sweet and simple recipe for Frosted Animal Cookies! Today's recipe starts with an easy (no-chilling-required) vanilla cookie base and is decorated with royal icing (and sprinkles!). Recipe includes a how-to video!
In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugar together until well-creamed and thoroughly combined.
Add egg, salt, and extracts, and beat until combined.
With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, stirring until completely combined.
Divide dough into two equal parts. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll one portion of dough to be ¼” thick.
Cut out animal shape, cutting cookies as close together as possible then regroup any scraps and re-roll to get more cookies. Repeat with second half of dough once you have finished with the first.
Transfer cookies to parchment paper lined baking sheet, spacing at least 1 inch apart.
Bake in 350F (175C) oven until cookies are just beginning to turn a light golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
Whisk together powdered sugar and meringue powder. Add water and vanilla extract. Use an electric mixer to beat until soft peaks form. Stir in food coloring, if using.
Holding cookies gently by their base, dip the surface of each cookie in the icing. Return to cooling rack or a wax paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle immediately with nonpareils, if using. Allow icing to harden before enjoying (about 15-30 minutes).
¹”Princess” emulsion tastes a bit like almond and lemon extract. It’s available in most cake shops or sometimes in the baking section of your grocery store, and you can also find on Amazon (I linked to it in the "Recommended Equipment" section below the ingredients. If you can’t find it, that’s fine, use almond extract or substitute for additional vanilla extract, the cookies will still be amazing! ²I used Americolor gel “electric pink” food coloring