Cream Cheese and Almond Christmas Cookies
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups (11 oz) flour* (or 2 1/4 cups Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Flour)
- powdered sugar icing
- Christmas sprinkles
Place sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, flavorings and egg yolk in mixer and beat until blended. Add the flour* and mix again until blended. Removed from bowl and wrap in plastic wrap and set on a plate. Chill several hours or overnight. Remove plastic wrap and cut dough into thirds. Place one third on a floured board leaving the rest the refrigerator. Roll out to 1/8″ thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Put leftover dough back in the refrigerator to chill again as you work with the next third.
Bake in a 350 degree oven (Use a oven thermometer to check how your oven cooks and adjust the temperature as needed) for 8-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the cookies and the pans you are using (dark, non-stick cookie sheets cook faster than parchment lined light metal pans). You want them to be brown around the sides and starting to creep over on to the top. After removing them from the oven, wait one minute, then transfer them from the cookie sheet to a cookie rack. Cool completely. Ice with the Buttercream Frosting recipe on the C&H powdered sugar package but use less milk (1 pound of sugar, 1/3 cup of softened butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup milk ). When you frost a cake, you need the frosting to be light or it can make the cake crumble and get into the frosting. For cookies you want the icing to be stiff or the cookies will get soggy. Frost and decorate with Christmas sprinkles one at a time so the frosting is still wet to catch the sprinkles. Lay the cookies out of paper towels and let the icing dry two hours before storing.
*The denseness of the cookies will vary depending on how you measure the flour. You can spoon the flour into the cup for lighter and softer cookies. They will break easier when you are frosting them, so you have to be careful. If you scoop the flour using a measuring cup and press it against the side of the bag to level it off as you pull it out, the cookies will turn out more firm and easy to handle. If you pack too much flour into the measuring cup the cookies will come out hard. Ideally you should use a scale and weighing instead of measuring the flour. Fill a large zip lock bag with enough flour to 11.5 ounces including the bag. Doing it this way will give you a consistent denseness. Also, how much flour use use while rolling them out will also make a difference. When I use 11.5 ounces of flour, and the dough is kept very cold, I find I only need to spread a thin layer of flour on the board and on the rolling pin as I’m working, just enough to keep anything from sticking.