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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Cream cheese sugar cookies -- two ways!

The holidays are rapidly approaching (or at least it seems that way), and with Channukkah and Christmas falling at the exact same time this year (remember Thanksgivukkah, when Channukkah fell on Thanksgiving?  Just to jog your memory...), I have double baking duty: Channukkah treats for my family, and Christmas treats for my doormen and favorite baristas.


So I started early this year.  I was thinking of making my butter cookies or even cut-out sugar cookies, but then I came across this recipe for cream cheese sugar cookies, and I thought that they just sounded perfect (and they were).  But here's the thing -- this recipe makes a TON of dough.  So much so that I ended up freezing half of it and still got an insane amount of cookies.  Like, I shouldn't have been surprised -- the recipe called for over 5 cups of flour!


Knowing my antsy and unable-to-delay-gratification self, and not wanting to wait at least 2 hours for the dough to chill. I went ahead and used the soft, fresh dough to make spritz cookies - i just added a few nonpareils on top before baking.  They held their shape and they were delicious.  I packaged them up (after a little sample for each of us) for B to bring to work, since I knew I'd be making more of the dough later in the form of cut-out cookies.  After (not so) patiently waiting for the dough to chill (and baking another kind of cookie....don't worry, they'll be up soon), I went ahead and made adorable little cut-out cookies in hearts and stars.  These cookies would really be awesome decorated with royal icing, but I was pressed for time, so I drizzled these with white chocolate and then sprinkled a few more nonpareils on top.  But remember that dough that I froze for later?  Yeah, those'll be decorated with royal icing.

Those other cookies, you must be wondering...what are those?
Well, my friends, those will be up shortly.... :-)

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
From Cookies & Cups

Ingredients:

1 8oz brick of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups of butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
5 1/4 cups flour

Nonpareils for decorating
White chocolate, for drizzling

Directions:

If making spritz cookies, preheat oven to 350F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Scrape sides as necessary.

Add sugar and beat for an additional 3 minutes.
Mixture should be fluffy and pale in color.
Turn mixer to medium-low.
Add in egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
Mix until combined.

Turn mixer to low.
Slowly add in flour.
Mix just until all flour is incorporated.

If making cut out cookies, wrap dough in disks in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
Continue below at the *.

If making spritz cookies, transfer dough to a cookie press or a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip.
Pipe dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
Sprinkle with nonpareils or sprinkles. 
Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

* If making cut-out cookies, remove dough from fridge.
In portions, roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness on a floured surface.
Using cookie cutters, cut the dough.
Place cut cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.  If making smaller cookies, like I did, start checking them at 7 minutes.  My mini cookies took 8 minutes to bake.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If icing cookies, wait until completely cooled before icing cookies.
I'll post my royal icing recipe when I post the decorated cut out cookies later.  
Drizzle with white chocolate and sprinkle with nonpareils.  
NOTE: Cookies can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.