In a small bowl, combine an egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon almond extract and ¾ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix 2½ cups of flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ¼ teaspoon baking powder. Set aside.
Cut 2 sticks (1 cup) of cold straight-from-the-refrigerator butter into ½-inch chunks.
Mix the butter in the food processor with 1 cup of sugar until combined, about 30 seconds.
Add in the egg mixture and process just until blended, about 10 seconds.
Add the flour mixture and process until all of the flour is mixed in, about 30 seconds.
Divide the dough in half and roll into 2 balls.
Place one ball between two large sheets of parchment paper.
Through the parchment paper, push the dough flat with your hands.
Roll the dough out to about 1/8" thick using a rolling pin. ⅛
Move the rolled-out dough onto a cookie sheet or tray, keeping the parchment paper on both sides.
Repeat the process to roll out the other ball of dough. Then stack it on top of the first sheet on the tray.
Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1½ hours, or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 300°F.
Take the first sheet of cookie dough out of the refrigerator and peel off the top layer of parchment paper (leaving the bottom one in place).
Use the cat cookie cutter to cut the shapes in the dough.
Put the cut-out cookie dough back in the refrigerator.
Repeat with the second sheet of cookie dough.
Refrigerate both layers until the dough is stiff, about 30 minutes.
Run a thin spatula under the cookie dough to separate it from the bottom layer of parchment paper.
Cover the cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
Lay out the cookies about ½ inch apart.
Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies are slightly brown but the tops are still white.
Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Take the second sheet of cookies from the refrigerator and bake them the same way.
Roll out the remaining dough to make another batch of cookies.
Mix 4 cups icing sugar, 3 Tablespoons meringue powder and ½ cup of WARM water in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment on low speed.
Once the ingredients are blended together, increase to medium speed.
Mix for 5 to 8 minutes until the icing forms soft peaks.
Make Black Icing
To make a full batch of black cats, add 8 teaspoons of cocoa powder to the royal icing.
To make black cat in front of the moon cookies, move half of the icing into a separate bowl. Add 4 teaspoons of cocoa powder.
Once it is completely combined, mix in enough black food coloring to turn the icing a dark grey color.
Now you'll need to test the icing consistency. If you're using both black and white icing, you should do this for both of them.
Test the icing consistency by running a knife through the middle of the icing and counting how many seconds it takes to close the gap. If it takes longer than 20 seconds, mix in a few drops of water. If it takes less than 10 seconds, add a little icing sugar.
How To Decorate Black Cat Cookies
For the cat silhouette in front of the moon cookies, save about 1/4 cup of the black icing in a separate bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap that is directly touching the surface of the icing to keep it from drying out.
Put the rest of the black icing in a piping bag with a #4 or #5 tip.
Pipe around the edge of the cat to create an outline.
Then flood (fill in) the middle.
Use a toothpick or a knife to fix any gaps.
Add eyes to your cats by using tweezers to place green sugar pearls on the cat's face.
How To Decorate Cat Silhouette Cookies
Decorate the cat cookies as above, saving about ½ cup of black icing. Store it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap that is pushed down to touch the surface of the icing.
Put some white icing in a piping bag with a #4 or #5 tip.
Outline the round shapes with the white icing.
Flood the middle with white icing.
Use a toothpick or knife to fix any gaps. Add more icing if there are any indents.
Position one of the black cats in the bottom center of the round cookie. Push down so that the black cat is stuck into the white icing.
Wait a few hours until the icing is completely dry.
When they are dry, put the extra black icing saved above into a piping bag with a #4 or #5 tip.
Pipe a few squiggles onto the white icing.
Take a damp (not wet) piece of paper towel and wipe off the black icing.
Spread it around the rest of the white icing to get a moon at night look.
Pipe on a few bird outlines if you want to.
Dutch processed cocoa powder is best because it is a darker brown.
Don't over-process the flour as it can make the cookies tough or cause them to have air bubbles.
While not strictly necessary to divide the dough in half, it's much easier to roll in smaller batches.
You can roll the cookies thicker than 1/8 inch if you prefer, but you will get a lot fewer of them.
Only use as much black food coloring as necessary since it can make your icing taste bitter.
The cocoa powder can be omitted from the black icing if desired, but more black food coloring will be necessary to make the icing dark.
The icing will get darker as it dries.
For a better idea of how dark the icing will be, let it sit (covered) for a few hours before icing the cookies.
Sugar cookies don't go stale that quickly, so it's fine to leave them out without covering them while the icing is drying.
How To Store Black Cat Sugar Cookies
Separate layers of cookies with pieces of parchment paper to protect the decorations.
Sugar cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days, refrigerated for about a week, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Black Cat Sugar Cookies from https://www.entertainingdiva.com/recipes/black-cat-sugar-cookies/ on October 14, 2020