Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies

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“Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies” is possibly one of the most unappetizing names for a cookie I have ever heard. They sound like the dessert that would go with a dinner of liver and onions served with prune juice.  But the name is very deceptive – they should in fact be called creamy butter cookies with a hint of cinnamon sprinkled with colorful sugar. But that also would not be a great name for a cookie. However, they would go wonderfully with just about anything – they are pretty basic in flavor such that they could easily complement a variety of desserts with more powerful elements.

Regardless, when I was roped into a promise to bake cookies for my students (we were playing a game, I said the winner would get a prize, then they decided they should all be winners in my eyes), I had to turn to my trusty cookie press to find a suitable recipe. This cookie press has made an appearance before, when I made chocolate shortbread cookies for my students on Valentine’s Day and butter cookies for Pickett Christmas last year. I love it because the recipes yield TONS of cookies (and when you have 150 students, you need TONS of cookies) and you can easily make something for any occasion, since it comes with all sorts of cool shape options. But enough free advertising for OXO.

I ended up doubling the recipe because I have more students than I did last year, and got about 175-200 cookies out of it (I figured my teacher friends wouldn’t mind some leftovers). But halving it will yield about 8 dozen cookies according to the original.

First, cube the butter and cream it together with the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. In case you’re wondering, this is what 4 sticks of butter cubed looks like. I promise there is some cream cheese underneath.

 

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Add the sugar and egg whites and beat until light and fluffy.

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Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate. The dough should be pretty smooth at this point.

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In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt.

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Add gradually to the butter mixture and beat until well combined.  For me, a considerable amount of flour ended up on the counter instead of in the bowl. Also, I began to fear for my stand mixer because the dough was pretty thick, so you should probably switch to the dough hook at this point instead of the paddle. I switched to a wooden spoon because I’m overprotective of my little yellow mixer.

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Fill the cookie press and press cookies onto ungreased baking sheets and sprinkle with sugar. I used leaves because it was the most Fall shape I had, and red sugar because A&P’s baking decorations are anemic at best, but you could get pretty creative with this step if you felt so inclined.

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Bake at 350°F for about 8 minutes or until edges are golden. Allow to cool on cookie sheet about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further. Store in an airtight container.

Pro Tip: if you’re making TONS of cookies, like I did, you might find that the cookies don’t stick readily to a cookie sheet that has already been baked on.  I found that if you wipe it down with a paper towel to absorb some of the grease and then waited until the tray was cooled to room temperature, you have better luck. This makes the process take a little longer, but it’s wicked frustrating to try to press a cookie onto a warm baking sheet and not have it release properly, so it’s worth it.

Enjoy!

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Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and cubed butter with the paddle attachment.
  2. Add the sugar and egg yolks, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract to incorporate.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture, using the dough hook to beat until well blended.
  4. Fill cookie press fit with desired disk. Press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet and decorate as desired.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 8 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
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