On Saturday, Krista kicked off a week of Christmas Cookie Recipes Week! Today, we resume the fun. Lucky me. My house smells fantastic!!!
I have to admit, Christmas is my favorite time of year. The beauty of a pine tree, the wonder of Christmas lights, the aroma of fresh-baked cookies and pies. Smiles on children's faces.
Like me, my protagonist Charlotte loves to bake. Being the proprietor of a cheese shop in Ohio, she is always trying out new recipes with cheese. For cookies, she prefers to use cream cheese, creme fraiche, and ricotta cheese. The smoothness of these cheeses mixes well into any baked goods. For her twin nieces, she likes to make cream cheese refrigerator cookies. She can make the dough ahead and bake them fresh any time of the day. Add sprinkles of peppermint candies or red sugar sprinkles, OR frost with cream cheese frosting and you have the perfect...
CHRISTMAS CANDY CANE COOKIE
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (or about 5 tablespoons)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1 egg yolk
2 ¼ cups flour
1 egg white (for brushing on top of cookies)
½ cup crushed candy canes
red colored sugar (optional)
In large bowl, combine sugar, butter, cheese, salt, extracts and yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour. [This dough can be prepared ahead and chilled. You can also use half a recipe and freeze the other half in "rolls."]
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Drop walnut-sized spoonfuls 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet. Press with spoon.
Bake for 7-10 minutes until golden brown.
Two ways to enjoy:
If you want, before you bake, you can brush the cookie with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with crushed candy canes and red colored sugar. [They will melt, like cookies on right of picture.]
Bake, let cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting and then sprinkle with crushed candies. [Like the cookies on the left.]
These can be made gluten-free by switching out the regular flour with gluten-free sweet rice flour and 1 tsp. Xanthan gum.
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (soft)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract.
Put all ingredients in a bowl and blend with blender. Spread on cookies as you please. What you don't eat, you can store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature to re-use.
Now, don't forget that this is the last week to send in suggestions for our January Iron Chef competition. If you enter, you could win a Junior's Cheesecake! We'll be announcing the winner next week. So get those suggestions in! Click on the picture of the cheesecake in the right column for more information.
Last but not least, check out changes on my web page www.averyaames.com. I've added more recipes. A link to my newsletter, and all sorts of fun things.