Dark chocolate cut-out cookies are a blank canvas for countless Christmas cookie designs.
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1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup Land O Lakes® European Style Butter
1 large Land O Lakes® Egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
2 tablespoons warm (105°F to 115°F) water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Multi-colored decorator sprinkles, if desired
Combine flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking powder and salt in bowl; mix well. Set aside.
Combine 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar and butter in another bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour mixture gradually, beating at low speed after each addition until well mixed.
Divide dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into ball; flatten slightly. Wrap each in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.
Heat oven to 375ºF.
Combine 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa in bowl; mix well. Generously dust countertop surface with mixture.
Place 1 ball of dough onto dusted surface. Dust top of dough with cocoa mixture to prevent sticking to rolling pin.
Roll out dough, one quarter at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 3- to 3 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 5-6 minutes or until edges are set. Remove to cooling rack immediately; cool completely.
Combine all royal icing ingredients in bowl. Beat at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed 2-4 minutes or until thick and glossy.
Spoon icing into resealable plastic food bag; cut off small corner. Pipe icing onto cookies. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Place onto cooling rack; let stand until icing is set.
If not using icing immediately, cover with damp paper towel or plastic food wrap until ready to use. Icing can be stored up to 2 weeks in refrigerator. To restore texture, allow icing to reach room temperature, then beat until glossy.
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