125g of unsalted butter at room temperature
125g of sugar
a little bit of vanilla essence or powdered (a teaspoon should be enough)
235g of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
a pinch of salt
500g icing sugar
food colouring (red & green)
How to make them
In the electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Then add the vanilla and egg and continue beating until it is all integrated. In another bowl mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly until you create a dough. You will see that it is not a well formed dough, and that is why it will need to chill 1 hour in the fridge.
After the resting and cooling time, it should have become quite a nice dough! Before you start working with the dough turn the oven on to 180C. I suggest splitting the dough in two and work them separate... but if you have a big rolling pin you can do it in one go. stretch the dough to 3 mm approx and cut the desired shapes. Place the cookies in a tray and keep stretching and cutting the remaining dough until you used it all!
Bake for 10 minutes until slightly golden in the sides and leave to cool (for a few hours or overnight).
Prepare the icing. I go the very simple old way... water and icing sugar. Take 3/4 of the sugar and add the water very slowly... like a drop at a time almost... until you have a mixture that it is firm. With the remaining sugar make two other mixtures and colour.
I used this tutorial from Sweetopia for my decorating and loved it. But you could try many more designs. Once you finished, leave the cookies to dry for at least 3 hours and keep them in an airtight container until before the kids arrive and then... go hang them on the tree!