The WORST, I tell you.
My cut-out cookies are either too dry and floury, causing them to taste like cardboard IF they even stick together, or too sticky and won't come out in recognizeable shapes because they stick in the dang cookie cutters. UGH.
I gave up long, long ago on making cute cut-out cookies... until I ate some cookies at my friend Kristie's house one day. Now, Kristie is a Domestic Goddess. For real. She cooks, she decorates, she sews, and everything she makes is FaBuLouS, and these cookies were a prime example... they were SOOOOO soft and buttery.
This recipe came from her... well, before I added to it, edited, and changed it up into something entirely different... but Kristie was my inspiration. You should make these for your Valentine... I know I will!
Yes, there are two sticks of butter in this recipe. That's on account of how I didn't use any bacon grease.
So anyway. Toss the above ingredients into a mixing bowl in no particular order and mix it until you feel like stopping. Or something like that.
Then spread some flour on your counter so your dough doesn't stick. I always thought this step required a degree in Rocket Science or something because I never could get the right amount of flour.... until I tried this recipe! And as it turns out, ANYONE can dump flour on the counter!
Your dough is gonna be SO deliciously buttery that you'll be tempted to stop here and serve this to your Valentine. But don't, ok?
Of course, he might have different ideas.
It's a good thing he's cute. Cute goes a looooooooong way. That's alls I'm sayin'.
Seriously. THIS is why no recipe of mine ever makes four dozen cookies. IT'S ALL THEIR FAULT. (ahem)
If you have any dough left after your husband and kids have eaten six pounds of it raw, dump what's left out onto your floured surface.
Roll it out to precisely 3/8" thick. Not 1/4". Not 1/2". THREE. EIGHTHS. Because I am all about mathematical precision when it comes to cookies.
Michael had the idea to make different size flower-shaped cookies and stack them up into a Christmas tree. (I don't recommend Christmas trees for Valentine's Day, but hey... whatever floats your boat).
For Valentine's Day, we'll probably make some cookies in the shape of lips and hearts and dollar signs and romantic stuff like that.
But we made this particular batch back during Christmas, and because I'm so efficient and task-oriented, I'm posting the pictures two months later.
Bake them until they're done. See?... I'm all about precision.
Here is the semi-finished product, stacked into what might pass for a Christmas tree in prison or a third-world country.
And now you have a pretty good indication of why I did not make my own wedding cake.
But they were tasty, and that's (almost) all that matters.
If only cute weren't so darn important...
Kristie's Cream Cheese Cut-out Cookies Recipe
2 sticks of butter, softened (I always use unsalted)
1 8-oz box of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg (large)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1. Combine butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
2. In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder; add it slowly to the butter and cream cheese mixture and beat well. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and freeze an hour or two.
3. Preheat your oven to 375*; roll your dough out on a floured surface to 3/8" thick. Cut out with cookie cutters of your choice.
4. Bake on greased cookie sheets (or ungreased Pampered Chef Stoneware) for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool.
5. Decorate with your choice of frosting and sprinkles.
Makes substantially less than four dozen.