White sprinkles give these stockings a fluffy-trim effect, but feel free to customize them instead: Simply tint some of the icing black and use it to write names on the white icing.
- Prep time 1 hour & 15 minutes
- Total time 5 hours & 15 minutes
In large bowl, beat butter with granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture in 2 additions just until combined. If necessary, knead gently to form smooth dough. Divide dough in half; shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
Let dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out, about 15 minutes. Between waxed paper or on lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to scant 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Using 3-inch (8 cm) stocking cookie cutter, cut out shapes, rerolling scraps as necessary. Arrange, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on parchment paper– lined rimless baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 375°F (190°C) oven until edges and bottoms are light golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 1 minute; transfer directly to racks to cool completely. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container; store for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.)
While cookies are cooling, in large bowl, beat meringue powder with 1/4 cup water until foamy, about 1 minute. Beat in icing sugar until stiff and glossy, about 9 minutes. Divide icing among 2 bowls.
Using food colouring, tint 1 bowl of the icing red. Spoon half of the red icing into piping bag fitted with small plain tip; cover remaining icing with damp towels and set aside. Working with 1 cookie at a time, pipe horizontal line 1/2 inch (1 cm) below top edge; pipe outline along sides and bottom. Let stand until dry, about 20 minutes.
Gradually add water, 1/2 tsp at a time, to remaining red icing until mixture is consistency of molasses. Spoon icing onto centres of cookies; using toothpick or skewer, spread to piped edges, popping any air bubbles. Let stand until thickened slightly and beginning to dry, about 6 minutes. Dip surfaces of cookies into decorating sugar.
Spoon half of the white icing into piping bag fitted with small plain tip; pipe outline of rectangle onto top of each stocking. Let stand until dry, about 20 minutes.
Gradually add water, 1/2 tsp at a time, to remaining white icing until mixture is consistency of molasses. Spoon onto centres of rectangles; using toothpick or skewer, spread to piped edges, popping any air bubbles.
Let stand until icing has thickened slightly and is beginning to dry, about 6 minutes. Top with sprinkles. Let stand until dry, about 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.)
Tip from The Test Kitchen: Meringue powder, which is essentially powdered egg whites mixed with cornstarch, is used to add body and stability to icings. Look for containers of it in baking supply stores or bulk food stores.
Makes about 40 cookies.
Nutritional facts per cookie: about
- Sodium 31 mg
- Sugars 12 g
- Protein 1 g
- Calories 108.0
- Total fat 4 g
- Potassium 11 mg
- Cholesterol 14 mg
- Saturated fat 2 g
- Total carbohydrate 18 g
- Iron 3.0
- Folate 5.0
- Vitamin A 3.0