You’ll often see rolled cookie recipes that call for chilling the dough for an hour or two and then rolling it out. But it’s far easier to roll the dough out when it’s soft, just after mixing it together. Then you can pop it in the freezer, where—because it’s rolled thinly—it firms up quickly. Meringue powder, found in craft stores or the crafting section of big-box stores, helps the icing set firmly so your cookies don’t smudge.
How to Make It
Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Beat together sugar, butter, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just until combined. Divide dough in half. Roll each half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness. Place dough halves on a baking sheet, and freeze until firm, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap from 1 dough half. Working quickly, cut dough with a 2 1/2-inch cutter of desired shape to form 16 cookies, rerolling scraps as necessary. (Refreeze dough if it gets too soft.) Repeat procedure with remaining dough half. Arrange cookies on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F until lightly browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets set on a wire rack for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies directly to wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Place powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, meringue powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, about 20 seconds; beat on high speed until thick, bright white, and smooth, about 5 minutes. Beat in additional water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Stir in food coloring, if desired. Spread or pipe icing evenly over cookies. Let stand at room temperature until icing is set, 1 to 2 hours. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.