Sunday, August 4, 2013

White Velvet Cut Outs

After the recent extravagant dessert, I decided to go back to something simple like cut out sugar cookies.  These type of cookies are dad's favorite and make me think of Christmas because this is the only time we had these around the house when I was young.  My mom would always make these type of cookies in the shape of Christmas trees and decorate them with green icing.  My dad, as well as us kids would gobble these up in no time.

These type of cookies can be time consuming, but if you are not into cutting out the dough for these,  you can always shape into a log and slice them. This recipe makes about 7 dozen cookies.

White Velvet Cut Outs
adapted from Taste of Home

4 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 cups butter
8 oz cream cheese
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbs butter
1 tbs shortening
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbs milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
food coloring-optional

Using a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Then add the sugar and beat again until mixture becomes fluffy and light.  Add one egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds and then add the additional egg yolk and mix again for 30 seconds.  Use a wooden spoon to fold in the flour, working in 1/2 cup increments.  Once all is blended, transfer dough to a smaller bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 2 hours.

Once chilling time is over, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.  Also set out a cooling rack for the cookies.

Take dough out of fridge and remove about 1/3 of dough from bowl to work with and place the remainder back in the fridge.  Lightly dust a flat surface with flour and roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into desired shape (number of cookies are based on using a 3 inch cutter) and place each on prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.  Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets at halfway point.  The cookies are done when the dough is set, not when browned.  I removed the cookies when they just started to get golden on the edges.

Let cookies rest on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to completely cool. Continue with the rolling baking and cooling process for the remainder of the dough.

To make the frosting, cream together butter, shortening, 3 tbs milk and vanilla extract.  Then place a sifter over the batter and sift 1 cup of powdered sugar into the bowl.  Beat batter until smooth.  Continue to sift in and beat remaining powdered sugar in increments.  The end result should be a light fluffy frosting.  Beat in the optional food coloring until completely distributed for even color.  For a lighter frosting, mix in some additional milk for desired consistency.

Frost cooled cookies and let frosting set before storing.
                                 **LAST YEAR: Almond Breakfast Scones**