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Coastal Cutout Cookies

Photo: Alan Richardson; Styling: Betty Alfenito
Prep time 15 mins
Chill time 1 hr
Bake time 10 mins
Yield Makes about 28 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Decorating Icing

How to Make It

  1. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, and beat until smooth. Stir in extracts.

  2. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until blended. Shape dough into 2 balls; wrap in wax paper, and chill 1 hour or up to 1 week.

  3. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. (If dough is too firm to roll, let stand 5 to 10 minutes.) Cut into shapes using 4 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Place cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheets; bake, in batches, at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on pans 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

  4. Dip tops of cookies in Decorating Icing, allowing excess to drip back into bowl.

  5. Lifesaver Cookies: Cut dough into circles using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Cut out centers of circles using a 1-inch round cookie cutter. Bake as directed; let cool completely. Spread about 1 teaspoon raspberry preserves, strawberry jam, or buttercream frosting between 2 cookies. Dip in Decorating Icing, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Add pieces of red licorice to resemble stripes on a life preserver ring. Makes 32 sandwich cookies.

  6. Coconut Snowballs: Substitute 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract for vanilla and almond extracts. Stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts and 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Chill dough 30 minutes. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake, in batches, at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms. Transfer to wire racks; let cool 2 minutes. Place 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in a bowl, and toss cookies to coat. Let cookies cool completely on wire racks. Toss in powdered sugar again, coating well. Makes 4 dozen.

Cook's Notes

Note: Bake time is per batch.