Decorating sugar cookies isn't hard, but holy smokes is it time consuming. Set aside several hours for decorating, at least. If you want to do piping on top of the fill color, you ideally need to wait about six to eight hours for the base to dry. I use royal icing to do the frosting, using meringue powder. I sort of go by Wilton's recipe but I find I need to at least double the amount of water, maybe it depends on the powder I'm using. Consistency is key, so if you've never decorated sugar cookies before check out one of the many excellent online tutorials.
Tyler and Laura's Cream Cheese Sugar Cookiesfrom Cafe Blue Ridge
1 C sugar
1C butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 C plain flour
In large bowl, use mixer to cream butter with sugar, then cream cheese. Add next 4 ingredients, blending well, then add flour and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, this makes the dough easy to roll. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
On lightly floured surface, roll out dough, one-third at a time, to desired thickness, and cut into shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. If you really want the cookies to hold their shape, place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, then put directly into pre-heated oven. Depending on the size of your cookies, this recipe makes 4 dozen or so.
Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes or so, until they begin to brown lightly at the edges. Cool a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to rack.