Fancy looking cookies need not intimidate you.  If you remember a few simple rules you too can have cookies that look like they were professionally decorated.  Chatelaine shows us how with a helpful video.

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Piparkakku, or Finnish-style gingerbread cookies, are our cookie of the day! Use whatever cookie cutters you have on hand to make these snappy treats extra festive. Recipe below and if you bake ‘em, share ‘em with #ChatelaineCookies. (: Roberto Caruso) . Ingredients COOKIES 1/4 cup golden syrup 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tsp ground ginger 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp ground cloves 1 tsp ground cardamom 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 egg, lightly beaten . ROYAL ICING 3 egg whites 1/4 tsp white vinegar 5 cups icing sugar, sifted 1/4 cup cold water . Instructions COMBINE syrup, butter, sugar, spices and salt in a medium saucepan over medium, stirring until butter is melted and mixture is smooth, 2 min. Let cool for 15 min. WHISK flour and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in syrup mixture, then egg, until blended. Divide in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten into discs and refrigerate until firm, 1 hr. PREHEAT oven to 325F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. LIGHTLY flour a large piece of parchment. Roll 1 dough disc on parchment to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut out shapes using 2?1/2-in. to 4-in. cookie cutters, re-rolling scraps and refrigerating as needed. Arrange on prepared sheets and bake until edges are browned, 12 to 14 min. Let cool 5 min, then transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. ICING: Beat egg whites and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium until foamy. Beat in sugar until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until thick, 2 min. Thin with water. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a very small plain tip to decorate cooled cookies. Let sit at room temperature until icing hardens, about 4 hr.

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