Prepare the Iced Ornament Cookies as directed below.
Ice and decorate one side of the cookies and let dry.
Turn dry cookies over, carefully ice and decorate the other side, then let dry.
Thread a narrow ribbon through the hole in the cookie and hang on ornament tree.
When your guests are ready to leave, have them select a cookie from the tree to take home with them as a party favour.
Iced Ornament Cookies
1/2 cup (125 g) butter, softened
2/3 cup (165 g) sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange liqueur or orange juice
2 1/4 cups (335 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups icing (confectioners’) sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange liqueur or additional water
1 egg white (or use 4 teaspoons meringue powder)
Food colouring of your choice
Preheat oven to 180ºC (350°F/Gas 4).
In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg and liqueur.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add to creamed mixture; mix well.
Shape dough into a ball; flatten into a disk.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 3 mm (1/8 inch) thickness.
Cut out shapes using floured 5–6 cm (2–21/2 inch) ornament-shaped biscuit (cookie) cutters.
Place 5 cm (2 inches) apart on greased baking trays (baking sheets).
Make a hole with a plastic straw about 1 cm (1/2 inch) from the top of each cookie.
Bake for 6–8 minutes, until lightly browned.
Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Use plastic straw to reopen holes in cookies.
For icing, in a large bowl, combine icing sugar, water, liqueur and egg white or meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined.
Beat on high for 4–5 minutes, until stiff peaks form.
Tint with food colouring as desired.
(Cover unused icing at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.)
Using piping (icing) bags and small round nozzles, decorate cookies as desired.
Let dry at room temperature for several hours, or until firm.
Thread ribbon through the holes.
Store in an airtight container.