holidays & recipes: cream cheese butter cookies
These light, flaky, buttery cookies look like they’ve taken a lot of effort to prepare and will have your family and friends singing your praise. But, they are amazingly simple and only require five simple ingredients. The key to these cookies is keeping the dough chilled as you work.
In our house we have a very thorough system. The dough is prepared a day in advance to allow for thorough chilling in the refrigerator. Once we begin working the dough the kitchen turns into an efficient assembly line. The first ball of dough is rolled out and cut by the “roller”. These circle cut outs are put onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Another helper, “the jammer”, spoons the strawberry jam into the center of the cookie. This person places the cookie sheet into the oven when they are finished.
In the mean time the “roller” gets another ball of dough from the refrigerator and begins the process again. Usually we employ another person to help shuffle the cookie sheets in and out of the oven and remove the cookies from the sheets onto a cooling rack. As this is the person who usually just wants to hang around the kitchen, but not get messy it is a fitting job. This is also the person who seems to enjoy eating the cookies as soon as possible. We have a name for this person, too, but it isn’t really nice so in the spirit of the season we won’t mention it here.
Because this recipe makes a lot of cookies (almost 50-60 depending on how large) having three people in the kitchen will make the process go faster. And, there is enough for all three participants to take cookies home. This is an excellent recipe to double or triple if you have to bake for many people. And, it really is easy enough for anyone to make so why not get the whole family involved.
Cream Cheese Butter Cookies
1 pound butter
12 oz cream cheese
5 cups flour (extra flour for rolling out)
1 large jar strawberry jam
powdered sugar for dusting
1. Mix together the butter, cream cheese and flour by hand in a large bowl. Portion dough into 4 equal size balls. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill.
2. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
4. Take a manageable amount of dough to roll out. Place the rest back in the refrigerator.
5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.
6. Use a 2-3 inch circular cookie cutter to cut out the large circles. Use a 1 inch circular cookie cutter to cut out the small circles in one half of the large circles.
7. Place a whole circle on the cookie sheet. Place a “donut” cookie on top of the whole circle. Repeat.
8. Once you’ve filled a cookie sheet “fill” the center of each cookie with about a tablespoon of preserves.
9. Bake on 375 degrees until just a hint of golden brown. Cool the cookies thoroughly, and then sift powdered sugar over cookies.