These impressive but simple-to-make gifts are almost too pretty to eat--yet too enticing not to. Choose a tin in the same shape for gifting these cookies, as it can be reused long after the cookies are gone.

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Ingredients

Cookies
Royal Icing

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cookies: Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Beat butter with granulated sugar on medium-high speed in a large bowl until well combined, about 1 minute. Add egg, vanilla, and salt; beat on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour, mixing just until incorporated. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Shape into disks; wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

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  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place one disk of dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment; roll out to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough on parchment to a baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Repeat with second disk.

  • Stamp out cookies with a 2 1/2-inch hexagonal cookie cutter; transfer to prepared baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Gather scraps and repeat rolling, chilling, and stamping to make more shapes.

  • Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until set and golden on bottom, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

  • Royal icing: Beat confectioners' sugar, meringue powder, and 1/2 cup water in a large bowl on medium speed until icing is smooth and falls from beaters in a thin stream, about 4 minutes. (If icing is too thick, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.)

  • Divide icing into 3 equal portions. Tint one with Peach food coloring and another with Dusty Rose; leave third icing untinted. Transfer each to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco #6).

  • Trace outline of each cookie with one color of icing; fill in with same icing. Or trace outline of half a cookie with one color of icing; fill in with same icing, then trace and fill in other half of cookie with another color. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.

  • To coat with silver, lightly brush an iced, set cookie top with water, then turn cookie over and press onto center of a silver-leaf sheet. Flip over and trim silver flush with cookie edges with a craft knife or the tip of a paring knife. Or lightly brush half of cookie top with water, then press onto silver leaf, aligning center of cookie with sheet edge; trim. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

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