Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009, everyone! It's been a busy but wonderful year, hasn't it? Made/broken your resolutions yet? How about "eat more cookies?" That sounds like a good idea to me! Cookie making has made its way to the top of my interests as of late, and I am all the more happier for it. I had been waiting for my new Christmas cookie cutters to come in the mail, but sadly they did not arrive on my doorstep until December 26th. No worries, though--the Christmas season isn't really over until after Epiphany! Our church choir had a holiday party this past week, which gave me the perfect opportunity to test out my new cutters. Cute!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies

* 1 cup butter, softened
* 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
* 1.5 cups sugar
* 0.5 tsp. salt
* 1 egg yolk
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 2.75 cups flour
* 0.75 cups cocoa

Cream butter and cream cheese together, then slowly stream in sugar with mixer running. Beat until light and fluffy, then mix in salt, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add flour and cocoa to creamed mixture in batches, beating just until combined after each addition. Divide dough into halves or thirds and roll out to 0.25" thickness between sheets of parchment or waxed paper (dough may be sticky). Refrigerate at least 2 hours (I do mine overnight) or until dough sheet is firm and easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter, and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets at least one inch apart. (Dough holds its shape very well and will not spread into unrecognizable blobs) Bake in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies. Cool on wire racks, then ice and decorate as desired.

Cookie Glaze

* 3 cups powdered sugar
* 4 Tbl. milk
* 4 Tbl. light corn syrup
* 0.5 tsp. vanilla or other flavoring, if desired

Mix powdered sugar and milk together until smooth and creamy (may take a few minutes). Blend in corn syrup and flavoring, then cover bowl with plastic wrap and let glaze sit for at least 15 minutes. During this time, the glaze will form small bubbles due to the mixing. These will slowly surface to the top, at which point you can gently stir them out. Stirring vigorously now will only make more bubbles... and you'll be sorry! Use an offset spatula to glaze cookies, or you can hold the cookie by its edges and dip them in glaze. Let set until dry and firm, which may take several hours depending on humidity.