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Monday, December 5, 2011

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

                                              CHRISTMAS COOKIE WEEK

We have had a pre-lit Christmas Tree for the past five years and sections of lights went out before the Christmas season was over last year.  After Christmas, I bought for us a new tree (1/2 price)!  Phillip put it together Saturday morning and I decorated the tree all afternoon.  It's such a trip down memory lane as I put each ornament on the tree.  When I opened the first drawer of ornaments, there were two ornaments that Brent had made for us when he was a small boy.  One is a paper plate that had been made into a wreath and another was a construction paper wreath.  There's also the reindeer that he made out of closepins.  The snowflakes crocheted by my bestest friend, George Ann, and my former co-worker, June, as well as crocheted angels by my friend, Mrs. Griswold, are all so special to me.  My sister, Debra, has given me ornaments from Macy's and when I see the Christmas commercials for Macy's I always smile as I see the children trying to mail letters to Santa.    

Eli and Brooke stayed with us last year when they were out of school for the Christmas holidays.  Eli asked me if I would make cookies for Santa.  When I asked him what kind of cookies he wanted me to make he requested Christmas tree cookies.  I knew I had some cookie cutters and was delighted to find that I had a Christmas tree cookie cutter.  I enlisted the help of George Ann for a recipe and she suggested one that she had recently seen in a magazine.  With the help of the internet, I found the recipe she had seen and it's the one that I used to make cookies for Santa.  I've already bought green sprinkles to go on the cookies when Eli wants me to make them this year for Santa.

                                                   Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 - 3 oz. pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally.  Beat in egg, vanilla, and almond extract until combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.  Cover and chill about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Using a scalloped cookie cutter, cut out dough, rerolling scraps as needed.

Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 to 10 min. or until edges are very lightly browned.  Cool on cookie sheet for 1 min.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

Decorate as desired. 


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