Let me just be clear. I don't love hand cutting cookies. At all. If I were to list the things I love most in the world, hand cutting cookies wouldn't be on it. I'm going to let you in on a little secret that is going to make your hand cutting life a little easier. Oil spray. That's the secret.
Print or draw your design on paper. Cut it out and then spray it with oil. It "sticks" to the cookie dough like Velcro. You don't even have to hold it down to cut around it. I use a paring knife because it's sharp and short to cut my cookies.
How to get the color you want from the color you already have.
How to keep your letters clean and sharp.
The link between icing consistency and icing temperature.