If there is anything that causes a bright stream of Christmas memories to flow through my head, it is sugar cookies. Sugar cookies symbolize a true celebration. Maybe that is because they take quite a bit of time and work. These cookies are not for the leisure bakers of the internet world. They are a slow Sunday morning project that will reward you with copious amounts holiday joy and impressive presents for your loved ones.
These particular sugar cookies slightly differ from most you can buy in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. These have a flaky, layered texture due to the butter and cream cheese mixture which binds them together. This enables them to be baked a little less for chewy cookies and a tiny bit more for a crunchier taste. I wanted to add some extra spice to these sugar cookies to stir up more of a pleasing taste. Cinnamon and nutmeg play well together in any sweet, especially these.
Another fun idea would be to make some of these cookies as gift tags. You can buy specialty cookie cutters on Amazon, or just cut a rectangle out of the cookies and decorate them as you please! Don't forget you can order these cookies along with 4 other types of cookies, if you are too busy this holiday season to get some baking done. If not, turn on that holiday music, brew your best cup of coffee, and start baking!
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Cut Outs with Vanilla Bean Icing
Yields: 24 cookies
// Dough //
- 4 ounces of cold butter
- 4 ounces of softened cream cheese
- 1 organic, brown egg
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 3 & 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
// Icing //
- 6 tablespoons of meringue powder
- 12 tablespoons of water
- 6 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350'F. In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add in the sugar and mix thoroughly for another 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg until entirely combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, salt, and flour together. Sift this mixture into the wet ingredients. Mix the two together until a dough forms. Be sure not to over mix.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour. I like to shape my dough into a long log to make it easier to portion later.
- During this time, you can mix together your frosting. Measure out the meringue powder and water into a larger bowl. Whisk them together for 3 minutes until it looks frothy and has doubled in volume. Pour in the powdered sugar. You will need to beat the frosting for 5 to 7 minutes until it forms stiff peaks and it is glossy. Once you reach that point, add in the vanilla and give it one final mix. You can color the frosting as you please using gel food coloring. Keep the frosting in air tight containers. It will last for 1 week at room temperature.
- Remove your dough from the fridge. I cut mine into three sections. I roll out one at a time and place the rest in the fridge. You are going to want to roll your dough out onto a heavily floured surface at first. Roll the dough out to an even 1/8 of an inch. Cut out your desired shapes. Knead the excess dough back together to form a ball and continue rolling out and cutting.
- Bake the cookies on a parchment line sheet tray for 10-15 minutes. The edges should be just golden brown. Any longer and your cookies will be dry and hard.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 1 hour before frosting.Scoop out half of each color of frosting into a pipping bag fitted with a number 3 tip for larger cutouts and number 2 for smaller cutouts. Slowly outline the shape of the cutout. Take your time and if your mess up, quickly wipe up the mistake with a paper towel. Once you like the outline, let it dry for at least 1 hour before flooding it.
- To create the flooding frosting, mix a small amount of water into the other half of your frosting. You want the consistency to be that of syrup. 1 cup of frosting should take about 1 tablespoon of water to obtain flooding frosting.
- After the outline is dry, work with small amounts of the flooding frosting to fill in the cookie. Use a knife, spoon, or toothpick to even out the frosting and flow it into small areas. If you are finishing decorating the cookie with sprinkles or candy add them to the top now. Allow the frosting to dry for an hour before packaging or enjoying them.
- I like to add more thick frosting to the top to finish decorating my cookies. Once you are finished frosting, allow the cookies to dry for 1 hour. These cookies are best enjoyed with 2 days.