Christmas Sugar Cookies

Tis the Season!!!It's that time of year again and I'm so excited.  I absolutely adore Christmas. In addition to the music, the lights and decorations, the festive spirit in the air and...aheem...the food, I mostly look forward to spending time with family and friends. 

Since my Mommy moved to Florida, the holidays have been different.  The time is usually split between Florida (where my Mommy is), California (my Daddy and friends) and Chicago (Mr. Foodie's family). Yet juggling all of that, I still enjoy the traditions that have continued with my family. And those definitely include food and decorating.

Every year since I moved into my condo, five years ago, my Mommy comes in town to help me get my Christmas tree and decorate.  This year she drove up from Florida for a quick 24 hours, but it was well worth it.  Of course we did so much running around, shopping, getting mani's and pedi's, we almost forgot about having to decorate the tree.  After we got home, we both got our second wind to decorate the tree (we did pretty good, right) and....make Christmas Sugar Cookies.

I love being in the kitchen with my Mommy, although our "know it all" personalities can sometimes get in the way.  Luckily, we know ourselves and one another pretty well, it always makes for a fun time and memories I will always cherish.
Okay, enough gushing about my Mommy. Let's move on to the goodies at hand.

During our day long excursion, I undoubtedly got festive and picked up a few cookie cutters (a Christmas tree, a candy cane and a snowflake). So I knew we weren't going to bed before at least a few cookies were made.

The cookies were very tasty.  I've read the addition of the almond extract is what sets the good sugar cookies apart from the rest and I think I'll have to agree. It adds a subtle but powerful taste.  This is a pretty simple recipe but I warn you, it makes A LOT of cookies. Be prepared to share with family, co-workers and of course Santa Clause.  My cookie cutters were kind of small, I guess, because I was able to make about 6 dozen cookies over the course of  the week.  But they're little, so they go fast.  And it's hard to eat just one.  Mr. Foodie got caught several times with a green tongue.

Christmas Sugar Cookies
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
4 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Mix until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until golden yellow.  Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add 1/2 cup at a time to the butter/sugar mixture and beat until incorporated. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, up until overnight.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Liberally flour your counter top or work area. Divide the dough into smaller balls and roll out into desired thickness, about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies using preferred cookie cutters. Sprinkle cookies with colored sugar crystals.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cookie. Remove from oven and let cook.  Enjoy
adapted from thekitchn.com

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