- 3/4 cups (180 ml) butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (360 ml) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 4 cups (1 L) flour
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
- ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
Royal Icing (stiff-consistency)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) meringue powder
- 4 cups (1 L) icing sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) lemon juice
- 6-7 tbsp (90-105 ml) water
- food colouring, your choice of colours
Royal Icing (flood-consistency)
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) water, for thinning
- Cream together butter and sugar.
- Add eggs and vanilla and keep beating until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Pour flour mixture into butter mixture, mixing to incorporate.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter and flatten into a disc.
- Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
- Roll out chilled dough into a thin, even sheet of cookie dough.
- Cut: 2 squares, each 5-inch (12 cm) x 5-inch (12 cm) – these will be the top and bottom of the box; 2 rectangles, each 2.5-inch (6.5 cm) x 4.5-inch (11.5 cm) – these will be two facing sides of the box; 2 rectangles, each 2.5-inch (6.5 cm) x 4-inch (10 cm) – these will be two facing sides of the box; 5 small circles, ½-inch (1.25 cm) round – these will be the feet and handle of the box; Cut the remaining dough into rounds, for cookies.
- For smaller cookies, bake at 350 F (180 C) for 8-12 minutes or until golden. For larger pieces, bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden.
- Let cool.
- To prepare the stiff-consistency icing, add meringue powder and icing sugar to a bowl.
- Add lemon juice and whisk in.
- Add water and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Divide into bowls and add desired colours.
- To create flood-consistency icing, add water to stiff-consistency icing and thin.
- Put each icing colour or consistency into separate piping bags.
- Start icing one side of one of the rectangle sides by tracing a thin line around the perimeter of the cookie in stiff-consistency icing.
- Fill in with flood-consistency icing, using a toothpick to pull the icing to fill in any holes.
- Let dry, then decorate by piping designs using stiff-consistency icing.
- Repeat with the 3 other side rectangles, as well as 1 square, and 1 of the small circle cookies. Reserve the last square blank with no icing – this will be the bottom of the box and it is not necessary to decorate it.
- With the blank square (the bottom), use stiff-consistency icing to “glue” 4 of the non-decorated small circle cookies to the bottom to create feet.
- With the decorated square (the lid), use stiff-consistency icing to “glue” the decorated small circle cookie to the top to create a handle for the lid.
- Once the iced rectangle sides have dried, use the stiff-consistency icing to glue them to the bottom of the box and to each other using stiff-consistency icing, with their decorated sides facing out. You will want to place them so that they all of the sides have a height of 2.5-inches, but the sides alternate between 4-inches and 4.5-inches in width so that they connect together.
- Use a leaf tip and the stiff-consistency icing to pipe a border down the outside edges of the box to cover the joints.
- Decorate the round cookies as desired, and let dry.
- Put the cookies in the box and place the “lid” on top.