These were a snap to decorate. I outlined and filled the black first, let it dry an hour or so, and then added the white bellies, orange beaks, orange feet, and eyes. I had the weirdest experience doing the feet and beaks: for some reason, almost all of them got air bubbles that I didn't notice until it was too late - even though I was on the lookout for them. With royal icing, the bubbles pop as the icing dries, which results in little tiny holes in the frosting that are nearly impossible to patch neatly. You can see it on the beak of the solo penguin. This didn't happen with the white or black frosting, and all three colors came from the same batch of royal icing. I really can't explain it, and quite possibly, I was the only one to notice, but it was aggravating.
One more word on these cookies: usually, I am incredibly careful in packing and transporting them because they are very delicate. For some reason, I decided putting them in a paper bag would be appropriate (not sure what I was thinking because at least 3 or 4 pairs of cookies sustained damages). NB: pack these carefully, even just for a short car trip!
Print lemon-vanilla sugar cookie recipe.
Print royal icing recipe.