These Christmas cookies have an irresistible vanilla coating that is the perfect base for decorative candy or sprinkles.
1 cup unsalted butter
3 oz. cream cheese*
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
*If you purchase a wrapped block of cream cheese, use 1/3 of a 9 oz. package.
Edible Cookie Paint
1 egg white
1/3 cup, plus 2 tbsp icing sugar
Food colouring paste (or liquid)
2 cups sifted icing sugar
3 tbsp warm water
1-1/2 tbsp meringue powder*
*The meringue powder used in this recipe is a substitute for fresh egg whites. It’s available at baking supply stores and at some craft shops.
Step 1: In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese with a wooden spoon. Using a mixer set on low speed, gradually add the sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Using the wooden spoon again, gradually stir in the flour and salt. Use your hands to work the dough into a ball.
Step 2: Divide the dough into two thick discs. Wrap each of the discs in plastic wrap and chill them until they’re firm enough to roll out, about 1 hour, depending on temperature of fridge.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Step 4: Use a floured rolling pin and floured work surface to roll out chilled dough (keep second disc in fridge until ready to use) to 1/4" thickness. Cut into shapes with Christmas-themed cookie cutters. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. Gather up dough scraps, re-roll and cut. Chill again if dough softens up too much. Roll-out and cut all dough.
Step 5: Bake about 12 minutes on middle rack or until cookies are just barely turning golden at edges. Do not overbake. Cool completely on racks. Finish with Edible Cookie Paint (see below).
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
Edible Cookie Paint (one recipe will paint dozens of cookies)
Step 1: In a small dish mix together egg white and icing sugar with a small whisk or fork. Add liquid or paste food colouring until the desired colour is attained (with paste, 6-8 dabs with the end of a toothpick should do it). Mix until well blended. The consistency will be syrupy. Cover and chill when not using. Keeps well for up to three days in the fridge.
Step 2: The Edible Cookie Paint is used on baked Vanilla Velvet Cookies, not raw cookies. Bake the cookies and allow to cool completely. Brush designs onto baked cookies using a small brush. Bake cookies in a 350ºF oven for an additional two minutes to set the paint. Allow to cool.
Step 1: Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer on low speed to blend completely, then at high-speed until icing forms peaks that hold heir shape. Pipe dots onto cookies and affix dragées (decorative confectionary) as desired.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups of icing