Christmas Cutout Cookies

While these don’t fall quite as high on my favorites list as yesterday’s walnut crescent cookies, they’re a must have at this time of year.  This recipe is a breeze to roll out, so for that reason alone it’s a keeper!

Sugar Cookies

Butter Cookies

adapted from Baking Illustrated

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 (5.5 oz) cup superfine sugar (or granulated sugar processed in food processor for 30 seconds)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened but still cool, cut in to 16 half inch pieces
  • 2 tsp  vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cream cheese, at room temperature

Ingredients

  1. In an electric mixer, mix flour, sugar, and salt at a low speed until combined.  With the mixture still running on low, add the butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until the mixture looks crumbly (about 1 minute longer).  Add the vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until the dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.
  2. Knead the dough by hand in the bowl for 2-3 turns to form a large, cohesive mass.  Turn the dough out onto the countertop; divide it in half, pat each half into a 4″ disk, wrap the disks in plastic, and refrigerate until they begin to firm up (20 minutes).
  3. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Roll out one dough disk to an even 1/8 inch thickness between 2 large sheets of parchment paper; slide the rolled dough, still on the parchment, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, repeat with the second disk.
  4. Working with the first portion of rolled dough, cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters and place the shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart.  Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time.  Repeat with the second portion of rolled dough.  (The dough scraps can be patted together, chilled, and rerolled.)  Cool the cookies to the room temperature on a wire rack.

I’m not a glaze kind of a girl myself, but I’m sure many are, so here’s the recipe that came with the cookie recipe.

Glaze

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Whisk cream cheese and 2 tablespoons milk in medium bowl until combined and no lumps remain. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth, adding remaining milk as needed until glaze is thin enough to spread easily. Drizzle or spread scant teaspoon glaze with back of spoon onto each cooled cookie, as desired.
Sugar Cookie Dough

Christmas Cookie Dough... as you can see, I like sprinkles.

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