December 20: White Velvet Cut-Outs

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I’ll make a real sugar cookie before Christmas, because I don’t really consider these sugar cookies. They’re actually a little better than that. I make them nearly every year, and the cream cheese gives it a nice smooth texture and mellowness. It’s so good, in fact, I’d rather give them to people that savor them rather than eat them mindlessly by the dozen (like one tends to do with regular sugar cookies).

Plus, I’ve gotten into royal icing and flooding and making my own pastry bags this year, and I wanted to try decorating some cookies on my own before the kids get off from school.

My mother is an artist, and let’s just say I’m…not. I’m a writer and a poet, and while those are surely artistic endeavors, I can’t color in the lines to save my live. Never have been able to. (Looking back now, this must have frustrated my mom, kinda like how it frustrates me when my kids end a sentence in a preposition or opt for a haiku when the school assignment is to write a poem of their own. #thestruggleisreal.)

The dough is one you mix together and put in the fridge overnight. Because I’ve been on deadline, let’s just say that this dough might have lived a few nights in the fridge.

And let’s also just say that maybe I was busy with jobs I actually get paid for, so I forgot to take a picture of me mixing this dough together. Hey, something’s got to pay for all the butter I use, you know?

Generally, I make these cookies into bells because that was the first cookie cutter I ever had, and I love it and the person that gave it to me, and I have a hard time letting go.

So I made one pan of bells, but then I decided my antidepressants are working better than ever, so I ventured out into snowflakes. There were no tears. I consider it a moment of personal growth.

So let’s talk royal icing, shall we? I ventured into royal icing at the beginning of the month with my gingerbread people and my Louisiana cookies, and it went pretty well…after a while. So I mixed up some more for these cookies. I think I watched one too many episodes of the Holiday Baking Championship, because suddenly I’m all “You have to flood the cookies” and “these still aren’t dry.” Armed with my royal icing, some pastry bags, and Google images, I decorated my first pretty cookie…well, pretty much ever.

I decorated other bells too, but this one turned out the best.

So then I turned my sights towards my snowflakes and ventured out into other colors. I’m still quite shocked they turned out as well as they did.

I need to get my frosting consistency right and maybe a smaller tip, but for the most part, I’m pretty happy.

These might go in the freezer next to the macarons that no one’s allowed to touch.

White Velvet Cut Outs

(from Gooseberry Patch’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Cookies)

1 c. butter, softened                           1 egg yolk

3 oz. cream cheese, softened              1/2 t vanilla

1 c sugar                                          2 1/2 c flour

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Beat in sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla, then stir in flour. Gather dough in a ball and chill overnight. To prepare, pre heat oven to 350. Rolll dough out to 3/16″ and cut into desired shapes. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are light brown.

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