Eeeeverybody writes about edible Christmas presents these days, especially about cookies. Me too, me too! These loverly angels are easy to make if you have the most basic ingredients plus a rolling pin and a cookie cutter or two. Much easier, for example, than the exciting and fancy Befana. My sister is visiting from Russia, and we spent a quiet afternoon making these beauties. In our particular case, "less is more" was definitely not a true statement. We really went to town with all the decorating. And I just loved the result.
What I like about this dough recipe is that it is versatile enough to be used for sandwich cookies held together by jam.
This one-legged war hero here has apparently lost an eye, too - hence the eye patch :).
2 1/2 cups (355 gr) flour
3/4 cups (156 gr) sugar (preferably super-fine)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (226 gr) butter, softened but cool, cut into tablespoon size pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream cheese
Using electric mixer at slow speed, mix flour, sugar and salt. Add butter, one piece at a time, mixing until the mixture is crumbly. Add vanilla and cream cheese, mix until dough forms (do not overmix). Shape into two discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out dough one disc at a time on generously foured surface to about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick. Using cookie cutter, cut desired shapes. Bake for about 7 minutes. Watch carefuly as the edges of the cookies can burn easily.
Cool on baking sheet 1 minute, then transfer to rack and cool completely before decorating.
Christmas Cookies with Jam
In a small saucepan, reduce 1 1/4 cup jam to 1 cup and use it to sandwich baked cookies together.