Wednesday, December 4, 2013

#CookieChatter: Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

A little while ago, the folks at Land O'Lakes invited me to participate in their #CookieChatter Twitter party, as a representative of the dairy farmers who are members of the Land O'Lakes cooperative.

I agreed to join the party. But I had no idea what to expect. I've had a Twitter handle for a while now, but I rarely tweet. And I had never participated in a Twitter party.

Well, the party was tonight. And it was wild. My head is still spinning.

During the party, I shared the last guest post I did for the Land O'Lakes blog – Baking Memories Together: Our Holiday Traditions on the Farm. The post includes some tips for baking and decorating cookies with kids – and keeping your sanity. It did not include the recipe for the sugar cookies I make, because I figured just about everyone has a sugar cookie recipe already.

Several requests for the recipe were tweeted during the party, so here's the recipe I got from Glen's mom for Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies. (The raspberry extract was my idea; I use it all the time in place of almond extract.) These roll-out cookies are made with both real butter and cream cheese. They bake up perfectly crisp, yet almost creamy — even without frosting.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

2 cups butter, softened (4 sticks or 1 lb)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp raspberry extract (or almond)
2 egg yolks
4½ cups all-purpose flour

Cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar. Beat in egg yolk, salt and extracts. Stir in flour until well blended. Divide dough into six pieces and chill for 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

On a well-floured surface, roll one piece of dough out to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. (Keep other pieces refrigerated.) Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting or sprinkle with colored sugar before baking (press sugar into dough with back of spatula to secure).

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until light and golden brown. Cool completely before frosting.

Tips & Tricks  (added January 10, 2014)

After my sister made these for the first time and called for advice, I decided I should add a few tips to this recipe.

→ If you're new to rolling out cookie dough, this video from Land O'Lakes is extremely helpful.

→ When you take this dough out of the fridge to roll, it will be rock hard. Either take it out 5 to 10 minutes before you start to roll or squeeze the dough gently in your hands (while still wrapped) to warm it up before rolling.

→ Use a generous amount of flour on your rolling surface and your rolling pin.

→ Lots of rolled cookies recipes will recommend re-rolling dough only once (so will the video above), but I re-roll this dough until it's all cut into cookies. There might be a slight difference between the first rolled cookies and the re-rolls, but it's insignificant.

→ The number of cookies this recipe makes varies considerably depending upon how thick you roll the dough and what size cookie cutters you use.

→ I think these cookies are best when the dough is rolled out to 3/16 of an inch, but since I started using an adjustable rolling pin to roll my dough, I roll this cookie dough out to 1/4 of an inch – but only because my rolling pin doesn't have an option for 3/16 inch. They turn out great at either thickness.

 → I've tried several recipes for frosting these cookies, but this recipe has been the best so far.

I hope these tips help. Happy Baking!

I am a farmer-member of the Land O'Lakes Cooperative. Affiliate links were used in this post.

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