Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Cookie #10 - Cream Cheese Cutouts

Merry Christmas Eve!! John and I have already exchanged our presents, since we will be spending tonight and tomorrow at 4 different houses. I had just enough time this morning to finish decorating our 10th and final Christmas Cookie. I have been baking these with my mom and sisters since we were young. To me it wouldn't be Christmas without them so I make them every year.

We did it, 10 in a row for all of you to bake, eat & share with your friends and family for the holiday! We hope you enjoyed them at much as we did. Don't worry after this run of cookies we promise we won't post baked goods for at least a week or two. Which will be easy to do for me because I've been dying to share some of our recent warm and hearty dinners with you. Although it hasn't felt like it lately in New Jersey it is winter so we will have plenty of soups and slow cooker posts coming soon.

1 Cup Butter - Softened
1 8oz Package of Cream Cheese - Softened
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
3 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder

2 Cups Powdered Sugar - Sifted
2 Tbsp Butter - Softened
4 Tbsp Milk
1/4 Tsp Almond Extract

Also needed:
1/3 Cup Egg White
Various Christmas Cookie Cutters
Colorful Sprinkles
Other candy such as M&M's to decorate
Start by combining the softened butter and cream cheese in a mixer bowl on a medium speed for 1 minute or so. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract until well combined. In a separate bowl mix together the flour and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time with your mixer on a slow speed. Once all the flour is in you can turn it up to medium-high.
When the batter is complete, divide it in half and wrap it in plastic or parchment paper. Refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours. This recipe makes a lot of cookies so I usually freeze half of it and bake half. If you want to make the whole thing keep the dough you are not working with in the fridge until you need it. Once the dough has chilled preheat the oven to 375 F and roll it out on a floured surface. Make sure not to make them too thin, they'll crack and break or burn in the oven. Also if the dough gets too soft to roll out place it back in the fridge for a few minutes.
Place the cookies you have cut out on a baking sheet although this particular picture doesn't show it I suggest using parchment paper. After this batch stuck to the tray, I used it for the rest and they were much easier to remove. I like these cream cheese cut outs two different ways, with sprinkles and with frosting so I go back and forth. One tray of cookies I'll leave plain to decorate with frosting later and the next tray of cookies I'll decorate before they bake with the egg white wash and sprinkles.
Bake either kind of cookie for 8-10 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. I like mine moist and chewy so I usually take them out of the oven right at 8 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack. If you are going to frost them make sure they are cooled completely before you decorate or your frosting will slide off.
To make the frosting sift the powdered sugar into the mixer bowl, add the softened butter, milk and almond extract and combine. Start mixing at a slow speed and then raise it to high for 2-3 minutes. If you are going to pipe this with a bag you made need to increase or decrease the milk content. Either way if it is too thick add more milk and if it is too thin add more powdered sugar. Divide the frosting into small dishes and add food coloring. I use small kid paint brushes to decorate the cookies which works quite nicely. Once you have frosted them make sure it has time to harden, the frosting should set in about 30 minutes. 
Enjoy & Merry Christmas!! - Nicole

Linked at:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...