Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cream Cheese Cookies

Cream Cheese Cookies - made dough October 15, 2012 from Cookies for Kids' Cancer Best Bake Sale Cookbook by Gretchen Holt-Witt
(ETA: weird, I could've sworn I posted this last night but it doesn't look like it took - trying again this morning)
When I'm pressed for time after work (should I bake? should I workout?  Both? Either choice is better than cleaning), I tend to make cookie dough.  It's usually quick to put together and I (almost) always freeze cookie dough before I bake it so I don't have to fit in baking time on the same night.  It's even faster when I make the dough into cookie logs like I did with this dough.

If you like butter cookies with the snap and texture of Shirley Corriher's recipe (which is one of my favorite butter cookies) but want something with a little more tang, this recipe for Cream Cheese Cookies is a good alternative.  It's got the same amount of butter but a slightly different mouthfeel to it.  The tang from the cream cheese is subtle but it does cut the richness of the butter flavor, at least to me.  It looks modestly plain but is one of those cookies where it's easy to eat more than one.  Don't underbake these or you won't get the snappy texture.  Bake until the edges are golden brown and the middles look dry, not wet.

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1.     Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
2.     Place the butter, cream cheese, and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until smooth and creamy.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla, beating well between additions.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining ingredients and beat until everything is well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.
3.     Drop large teaspoons of dough onto a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 14 to 16 minutes.  Let cool on the sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and repeat with remaining dough (use cooled cookie sheets for a fresh batch).

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