Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 hrs 15 mins
We're not found of overly sweet desserts in my home. At holiday time I love to relax and carefully decorate a platter of sugar cookies. I've found that this tangy non-too-sweet cookie recipe fits the bill perfectly! My mother found this recipe in the Syracuse Herald-American many years ago. We both have been making this recipe every Christmas since then. I also love to make them for summertime holidays using summertime cookie cutters. Prep time includes short end of chill time. You can substitute a little fresh squeezed lemon juice for the water in the icing recipe if you wish, too. You can also skip chilling in the fridge and put the dough right into a cookie press. ADDED 12/13/08 - We use the royal icing recipe so that these cookies can be stacked after they are decorated. Royal icing is a hard, crisp icing that gives these cookies a nice snap when you bite into them.
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Good quality pure extract is worth it!)
- 3 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- 1 1⁄4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons water, lukewarm
- Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar.
- Add the egg and vanilla, mix well.
- Switch beater hooks for dough hooks on your mixer.
- Stir baking power into flour then add to butter mixture. Beat well until flour is incorporate. Scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Take care not to over-mix.
- Divide dough into at least 4 balls and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours. Can also be frozen. Allow to come to fridge temperature before rolling.
- I like to make these on the thick side so the tang of the cream cheese can really be tasted. I roll mine just over 1/4" thick. Cut out as many cookies as possible from the first "sheet" of dough. Gather the scraps and put them back into the plastic wrap. Reserve all scraps for rolling later after they chill again. Put your cookies on a cookie sheet. I have never had a problem using an ungreased sheet. Cookies will not spread so they can be placed very close together.
- OPTIONAL STEP: Put the cookie sheet with your raw cookies into the fridge for about 3 minutes. This keeps the edges very crisp and square. They will not soften and round in the oven.
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake first batch and set timer for 8 minutes. Check at this point and see if they still look shiny. If so, add 1 more minute. Should not take longer than 10 minutes.
- Let cookies cool and prepare icing. Mix icing ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon. Scrape the sides to incorporate all the sugar.
- Spread icing on cookies with an icing spatula or dip the tines of a serving fork into the icing and drizzle over the cookies. Color and add crunch with decorating sugars.
WOW. I have had the same Christmas Cut Out Cookie recipe for over 40 years now. THIS IS BETTER! I was also in a hurry and wanted to taste some before chilling so I dropped spoonfuls on the cookie sheet, wet the bottom of a glass and flattened, and frosted and HEAVEN! Not as pretty that way, of course..but I have a NEW cookie recipe for Christmas now.
These cookies are so easy to roll out. The flavor is just outstanding. I frosted them with buttercream frosting mmmmmmmmmmm!!!