Thursday, November 29, 2012

Grandma Barb's Cut-Outs

Mama's mom, Grandma Barb, has made these cut-outs every holiday for as long as I can remember. And I'm not just talking about Christmas. Depending on the holiday, the cookies may arrive as snowmen, trees, stockings, or (for every holiday but Christmas) circles and stars.


They are so well loved that there are never any to take home. My Aunt Chris loves them so much Grandma makes a separate smaller platter just for her to take home every holiday. The day Grandma gave me the recipe I was over-joyed. Now I could make these delectable cut-outs whenever I craved them. I think it might have been her gift to me before heading off to college...probably because she realized if I could handle thousands of dollars of debt, I could handle her secret recipe.

And they are secret. But now I'm sharing it with you. So now it's our secret.

The secret to these mouth-watering, demanded, sugar cookie goodness is cream cheese.

That's right. Cream cheese.

It's so simple; I'm sure you're jaw-dropped, staring at your computer in amazement wondering what the other secret ingredients are. But that's it. And they are to die for.

Last year I made about 6-7 dozen and took them to our church, which was having a program for the kids and asked for volunteers to provide the cookies.

This year I plan to make them for my kiddos at work. :)

Grandma Barb's Cut-Outs

Makes 1-2 dozen cookies depending on size of cookie cutter

2 1/2 c flour (sometimes I use whole wheat pastry flour or a combo of the two)
1 c sugar (may play around with the sugar this time...Greek yogurt, applesauce, bananas...)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla (or a little more if ya know what I mean...)
1 egg yolk
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened (I always use Neufchatel whenever a recipe calls for cream cheese. It's less in fat and I enjoy the texture a lot more.)

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well blended. Add vanilla and egg yolk. Set aside. In a small bowl combine butter and cream cheese, blending until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese mixture slowly to flour mixture, blending until smooth and fluffy. (We want fluff, people!)

If making cut-outs, place dough, covered, in fridge to chill for about an hour. When ready, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out with cookie cutters.

Place on greased baking sheet 1" apart. Bake at 350 degrees 8-10 minutes. (*Note: These cookies don't brown very well, so they might be done even if they don't look done. If unsure, let cookies sit on the baking sheet a minute or two before moving to racks.) Let cookies cool completely and top with your favorite frosting and sprinkles.

Enjoy! Devour.

Nutritional Information: Per Cookie without frosting (24 in batch)
165 Calories; 10 Fat; 9 Sugar; 19 Carbs; 2 Protein

With Love and God Bless,

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