Saturday, December 22, 2012

holiday (cream cheese) sugar cookies

One of my happiest childhood memories was decorating sugar cookies at my Aunt Jeanie and Uncle Don's house.  My sisters, cousin, and I would gather around their dining room table at Easter and Christmas for fun, laughter, holiday music, and dozens and dozens of cookies just waiting to be frosted and adorned with sprinkles. 

Besides the fun of decorating them . . . between my two sisters and I ~ we would bring home upwards of 40 cookies. And since I've always been a BIG fan of sugar cookies . . . this was a dream come true (smile)! 

I thought I would bring this joyous tradition into my home for my kids.  With a 14 year age gap between my first and second child, I feel a great responsibility to create fun and memorable opportunities for my kids to connect and make memories TOGETHER. 

We had a fun afternoon . . . and I hope we're able to gather again in the Spring to decorate Easter themed cookies! You're never too old to explore your creative culinary side! 

Although I LOVE the basic sugar cookie . . . I need to share this GREAT recipe twist with you. Yes, these are holiday sugar cookies . . . but they're much more than a simple sugar cookie. They're a CREAM CHEESE Sugar Cookie . . . tender and flavorful with flecks of orange zest and cinnamon. Add a sweet cream cheese frosting, and they're downright YUMMY!

It's never too early, or too late, to start a new family tradition.  I hope these recipes help you make new ones with your family!

Orange Cinnamon (cream cheese) SUGAR Cut-out Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen (4-inch) cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium-high speed with an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add sugar and brown sugar to butter mixture, beating at low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until fluffy. Add eggs, orange zest, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, beating to combine.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
Add flour to mixture, 1 cup at a time, beating at low speed to combine.
Increase speed to medium, and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined.
Divide dough in half. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut into desired shapes, re-rolling dough once, if necessary. Place on prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden.
Allow to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes.
Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Cream Cheese Icing
Makes about 3 cups
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Beat at medium-high speed with an electric mixer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating at low speed to combine. 
Add cream and vanilla, beating at medium-high speed until combined.
Add coloring and beat until thoroughly combined.

~ Hmmmm . . . decisions, decisions ~

~ Charley's decorated cookies! ~
~ I LOVE that she put a HAPPY FACE on everything!~ 

 ~ Ford is working hard on his sugar man ~

~ My oldest son's (Nick) finished cookies! ~

~ the more the merrier ~
~ Nick's girl-friend, Megan, joined us for cookie decorating too ~

You don't need fancy decorating tools to make pretty cookies!
All you need is family, friends, and the desire to have a good time!

Happy baking!!

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  1. I pinned these because the ingredients sounded good to me. I think these would be great for just about any holiday. I will be digging out my cookie cutters.

    1. Hi Madonna!
      These cookies are so good! I hope you give them a try soon. And yes, they're great for any holiday :0)
      Merry Christmas,

  2. These look really good, and are super cute!


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