Luau Cookies

Aloha!  I don't know about you but this February weather has me dreaming of Hawaii.   It may be more mild than last winter, but it is still winter.

Mr. Apron and I love Hawaii.  We first went to the Big Island for spring break when we were in graduate school, and we love it so much, that we went to Maui for our honeymoon.
One of my favorite things about Hawaii are the sunsets.  Mr. Apron took the photo above on our first trip to the Aloha state. I know it looks like post card, but he really did take it.
And of course no trip to Hawaii is complete without going to a luau.   We went to the Old Lahaina Luau on our honeymoon.  As much as I as like the show, the highlight for me is always the food, except the poi.  (If you've had poi you know what I'm talking about.)  The mai tais are also high on my list as well. 
In the spirit of a Hawaiian Luau I made sugar cookies this weekend for a party.  Although  the weather in Boston might not quite be as warm as Hawaii, the brightly colored cookies brought a little sunshine into a cold February weekend.    

Sugar Cookies 
6 cups all-purpose flour 
3 teaspoons baking powder  
1 teaspoon salt  
2 cups unsalted butter  
2 cups granulated sugar  
2 large eggs  
2 teaspoon vanilla extract  

Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to butter mixture. Mix well. Put a handful of the freshly made dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to desired thickness. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Put the rolled dough, including the parchment paper, on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes or longer. Your dough will be chilled and ready to cut and bake with now wait and no added flour! Repeat with scraps after cutting cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 -10 minutes. Let cool.

Source: Fancys Flours

Royal Icing
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups confectioners' sugar sifted 
6 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms a peak (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer). 

Source: Wilton