Makes about 3 dozen cookies

From the kitchen of: Mindy Keyes Black, copy editor. In my family, holiday food means all things dough. One of my grandmothers (from a little town in Tennessee) always invited me over as soon as the calendar flipped to December to help bake her scrumptious Butter Crisp cookies. We made them for neighbors, teachers, her hair stylist, the postman--everyone we could think of--taking frequent breaks with Granddad to munch on the ones that broke. Dodgie, now 90, isn't baking as much as she used to, so my kids and I make sure to send her a boxful now and then. The key ingredient, Dodgie maintains, is the cream cheese.

Prep: 25 minutes; Chill: 30 minutes; Bake: 12 minutes.

How to Make It

Step 1

Beat together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. Gradually add granulated sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in yolk and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl; gradually beat into butter mixture. Shape dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out one-quarter of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut out cookies with a 3-inch cookie cutter, and place gently on a baking sheet; sprinkle with turbinado sugar or cinnamon sugar.*

Step 3

Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges turn golden, watching carefully to avoid overbrowning. Cool on a wire rack.

Step 4

*Or top with your favorite frosting, after baking.

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