1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup water
4 teaspoons meringue powder
Orange, black and red and/or green paste food coloring
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in sour cream. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough into three balls; cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
Remove one portion of dough from the refrigerator at a time. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. penguin cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 375° for 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
For frosting, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4 minutes or until soft peaks form. Cover frosting with damp paper towels or plastic wrap between uses.
Set aside half of frosting. Tint half of the remaining frosting black. Divide remaining frosting in half; tint one orange and the other red and/or green.
Working quickly with the black frosting, pipe outlines of the penguins' bodies; fill in with thinned black frosting. Let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Fill in centers of penguins with thinned white frosting; let dry until firm.
Add eyes with the black and white frostings, orange noses and feet and red and/or green scarves. Let stand until set. Add white polka dots on the scarves. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
Pairs Well With
For a cute Christmas cookie that you can have your children help decorate, give this recipe a try. It's a great way to inspire youngsters to get involved in the kitchen.