Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
What makes these cookies so good? It’s in the name—plus vanilla, almond and a hint of nutmeg. —CHRISTY HINRICHS PARKVILLE, MO PREP: 30 MIN. + CHILLING BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING MAKES: 4 DOZEN 1 cup butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
¹ ₂ tsp. vanilla extract
¹₄ tsp. almond extract
2¹ ₄ cups all-purpose flour
¹ ₂ tsp. salt
¹₄ tsp. baking soda
¹ ₈ tsp. ground nutmeg ICING
3³ ₄ cups confectioners’ sugar ¹ ₃ cup water
4 tsp. meringue powder Assorted colors of liquid food coloring
1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and extracts. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and nutmeg; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2 1/2-in. cookie cutters.
3. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° until edges begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
4. For the icing, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high until soft peaks form, 4 minutes. Cover the icing with damp paper towels or plastic wrap between uses.
5. Working quickly, spread or pipe the icing over cookies; let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Use small new paintbrushes or toothpicks and food coloring to make designs on the cookies. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. NOTE Meringue powder is available 1 COOKIE 116 cal., 5g fat (3g sat. fat), 16mg chol., 66mg sod., 18g carb. (13g sugars, 0g fiber), 1g pro.