Married to Medicine

Married to Medicine

Monday, October 10, 2016

Best EVER Fall or Holiday Cookies! Spicy Cream Cheese Cut-Outs!!!

Oh.  My.  GOSH YOU GUYS!!!!!  I haven't been this excited about a recipe in a long time!!  Sorry to boast but I legit SOLVED the ever-frustrating conundrum of sugar cookie cutouts being SO cute and SO fun for kids to decorate, but just not that amazing to eat.

Longtime readers may be familiar with this recipe - my favorite cut-out recipe that yields soft cookies and a little something extra in the cream cheese frosting.  Well, this weekend my I spiced it up - literally - and the result was divine.  The autumn spices were the perfect thing to cut the sweetness and they, along with the cream cheese icing, made for cut-out cookies that broke the "yummy" ceiling and finally achieved "addictive" status.

Without further ado...

Spicy Cream Cheese Cut-Outs

For the cookies...
1.5 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks butter, minus 1 tbsp
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar 

For the icing...
1 stick butter, room temp
1 package cream cheese, room temp
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar (sometimes I do less)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves

Add ingredients in the order listed from the first list above; that's the dough - you can consider making a half batch or a 3/4 batch if you aren't feeding a crowd.  Split the dough half and wrap each half in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  Working with one half at a time, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, and sprinkling more flour on top of the dough (spread it around with your hand) as needed.  When the dough is slightly flattened but still a couple inches thick, pick it up, reflour the surface underneath (spread with hand), and flip it over, then sprinkle a little more flour on top and continue rolling.  This will ensure the dough is easy to work with and doesn't stick to the table.  You can also dip the cutters in flour if you need to.

Once the dough is about 1/4 inch thick, cut with cookie cutters.  Place the dough shapes a couple of inches apart on a pan that is either buttered/greased or that has an Artisan Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat - these mats are the best money you will ever spend if you bake cookies; they give cookies a professional, uniform texture and are nonstick to the extreme - you can literally lift cookies off with your bare hands once they're cool, even cut-out cookies!

Bake at 375 for 6 minutes.  They won't look done but you do NOT want them to if you like soft, moist cookies.  Allow them to cool slightly (they'll firm up) before removing them to another surface to await icing.  Make the icing by mixing the ingredients above - do not ice until the cookies are fully back to room temp.  These will be great right away but even better the next day; moisture from the icing will seep down, further softening the cookies, and the icing will harden on top making them easier to transport.  Apply sprinkles immediately after icing so that they will stick.

Tip:  My kids at 4 and 6 LOVE to decorate these - my 4 year old excitedly exclaimed that it was her "favorite thing she had ever done."  To minimize the mess, try (1) giving them a large pan (with edges) to decorate in and/or (2) giving them each a mini muffin pan with different sprinkles in each cup so that they don't have access to the big jug and they can pinch some sprinkles with their fingers.


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