Easter Sugar Cookies

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon butter flavoring, Butter Buds, Molly McButter, etc.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon malted milk powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 cup Land O Lakes Light Butter (5.5 grams fat per tablespoon) or other light butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup nonfat sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites
cooking spray if not using non-stick baking sheets
1 recipe White Icing or 1can Reduced Fat Vanilla Flavored White Frosting
liquid or paste food coloring in pastel Easter colors; sky blue, violet, green, pink, mauve etc.
tubes of gel frosting in same colors and white, pastel sugars and Spring/Easter decorating candies
Easter cookies cutters in desired shapes, bunnies, chicks, eggs, etc.

*Paste food coloring, decorating sugars, candy, decorating frosting tubes are available at grocery and specialty stores wherever baking and cake decorating supplies are sold.

1. Stir flour, baking powder, butter flavoring, malted milk powder and nutmeg together in a bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sour cream with sugar until smooth. Blend in vanilla and egg whites, beating again until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just well combined.

3. Enclose dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or over night. The longer the dough is refrigerated the easier it is to handle.

4. Preheat oven to 325º F. Working with about a third of the dough at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth to about 1/4-inch thickness. (Keep remainder of dough refrigerated until ready to roll out.) Cut out cookies with floured 2- to 4-inch Easter cutters into desired shapes. Carefully transfer cookies to baking sheets lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Before baking, sprinkle cookies with granulated sugar if desired.

5. Bake cookies until lightly golden brown around edges (10 to 12 minutes). Let cookies stand about 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool. After cookies have cooled using pastry knife spread base coating of white or pastel colored White Icing or Frosting on cookies. Add a small amount of water to icing or frosting to achieve a thinner consistency.

6. While icing is still wet, sprinkle with decorating sugar or decorate with dots or swirls of colored icing or candies. For Easter Bunnies with baskets, fill a pastry bag with white frosting or icing, draw outline of basket and fill top with tiny color Easter candies. Give bunnies, eyes, and whiskers, etc. Use your imagination!

Yield: about 12 5-6 inch cookies with 2 tablespoons White Icing each at approximately 200 calories; 2.2 grams total fat; 1.4 grams saturated fat; 7 milligrams cholesterol; 42 grams carbohydrate; 0.5 gram dietary fiber; 3.7 grams protein; 141 milligrams sodium. Cookies made with Reduced fat frosting will have 0.5 to 1 gram fat more than cookies made with White Icing.
White Icing
1 16-ounce package confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder*
1/3 cup warm water

*Meringue powder is available at specialty stores wherever baking and cake decorating supplies are sold.

1. Beat sugar with meringue powder and water on until thick and white, about 7 minutes.

2. Icing may be tinted with food coloring at this point. Keep icing covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying out.

3. Use small metal icing spatula, paint brushes, paint sponges and/ or decorating bags with small writing tips. (Thin frosting with a little warm water to obtain the right spreading or piping consistency.)

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