It’s always a lot of fun to eat Christmas cookies, where you might have several different types of cookies on the same plate to choose from. Making Christmas cookies is a lot of fun, too, but there are times when you simply don’t have time to make batch after batch of cookies because you’re entertaining friends and family or running out to do some last minute shopping errands. I always like a cookie dough that is versatile enough to be turned into many different types of cookies, allowing me to get multiple looks and flavors of cookies out of one single dough.
The dough that I used for my Vanilla Pretzel Butter Cookies, Mocha Swirl Cookie Bites or Pumpkin Butter Pocket Cookies is a buttery vanilla and cream cheese cookie dough that is exceptionally versatile. The dough has a great vanilla flavor and a hint of tang from the cream cheese. The cream cheese also gives the dough a great texture, so it is easy to roll out and shape without becoming too sticky. It is not overly sweet, so you can easily pair it with sugary toppings, fruit fillings or even chocolate without making the cookies seem too rich. It really is good for just about anything you can think of!
The dough is easy to make and can be prepared a day or two in advance, then stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. No matter what type of cookie you end up making – even if you just end up rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters to punch it into different shapes – the results will be delicious and perfect for any cookie plate!
Cream Cheese Butter Cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together confectioners’ sugar, butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, followed by vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the flour mixture. Dough will be thick. Divide dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30-60 minutes.
Use dough to make Vanilla Pretzel Butter Cookies, Mocha Swirl Cookie Bites or Pumpkin Butter Pocket Cookies.
You can also shape the dough into logs, slice them into rounds and top them with sprinkles, baking them off as a simple slice-and-bake cookie.
If using the slice-and-bake method, cookies should be but 1/4-inch thick and baked for 11-14 minutes, until very lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen.