Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

The cream cheese adds rich flavor to these classic cookies. Enjoy them year-round or serve on special occasions.



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Yield: about 12 cookies
Prep Time: 30 mins
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Ingredients
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    1/2  cup 
    butter, softened
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    1  3  ounce package 
    cream cheese, softened
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    1   cup 
    powdered sugar
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    1/2  teaspoon 
    baking powder
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    1/4  teaspoon 
    salt
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    1   
    egg
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    1   teaspoon 
    vanilla
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    1   teaspoon 
    almond extract
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    2 1/2  cups 
    all-purpose flour
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    1   recipe 
    Royal Icing (see recipe below)
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    Royal Icing Snowflakes (optional)
Royal Icing
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    4   cups 
    powdered sugar
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    3   tablespoons 
    meringue powder
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    1/2  teaspoon 
    cream of tartar
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    1/2  cup 
    warm water
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    1   teaspoon 
    vanilla
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    food coloring (optional)


Directions
1.
In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, vanilla, and almond extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
2.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a scalloped 4-inch cookie cutter, cut out dough, rerolling scraps as needed.
3.
Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
4.
Decorate as desired with Royal Icing. If desired, decorate with Royal Icing Snowflakes. Makes about 12 cookies.
Royal Icing
1.
In a large bowl, stir together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add warm water and vanilla. Tint with food coloring, if desired. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, then on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until very stiff. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches desired consistency. Makes about 3 cups.

Storage
  • Cookies decorated with syrup and almonds do not hold well so decorate them within 4 hours of serving. To store undecorated cookies, layer them between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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