2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Heat oven to 325°F.
Combine 2/3 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add flour, cocoa and salt; beat at low speed until well mixed.
Roll out dough between two sheets of lightly floured waxed paper, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with assorted 2 to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. To use as gift tags or hang as ornaments, cut small hole near edge of each cookie with end of large straw. Bake 14-18 minutes or until set. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Combine all icing ingredients in bowl. Beat at low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium. Beat until stiff and glossy. (If too stiff, add additional tablespoon hot water.) Outline and decorate cookies with icing as desired. Let icing dry. Serve cookies or thread with ribbon or yarn and tie to package or branches of tree.
If not using icing immediately, cover with damp paper towel until ready to use or cover with plastic food wrap. Icing can be stored up to 2 weeks in refrigerator. To restore texture, allow icing to reach room temperature, then rebeat.