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 Vanilla Sugar Cookies

-Makes approximately 18-24 cookies depending on the size of your cutter.

3 sticks unsalted room temperature butter (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup room temperature cream cheese
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

-Mix butter, sugar, and cream cheese together on medium speed x 5 minutes.
-Add in eggs and extracts and mix on low until incorporated.
-In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
-Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
-Dough will be soft and somewhat sticky.  If too sticky, meaning it comes off onto your fingers when handling, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
-Place inside a gallon size zip lock bag or onto a baking tray with parchment and flatten slightly.  Flattening makes it easier to roll out.
-Cover and place into the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
-Lightly flour a clean surface and place dough onto surface to roll out.
-Roll into desired thickness and cut out shapes.
-Place cutouts onto a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for a minimum of 20 minutes before baking.  This helps with spreading.
-Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Look for the shine on top to just disappear.  That's when they are done!
-Let sit on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
-They are ready to decorate when they are completely cooled or can be stored in a tupperware container until ready to decorate.
-NEVER put cookies, bare or decorated in the refrigerator.
-Store at room temperature in a covered container for up to 2 weeks or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Royal Icing - Sally's Baking Addiction has a wonderful and easy recipe that I use and alter the flavors with different extracts and emulsions.  Some day when I have a minute, I will post all my tips and tricks I have learned by trial and error!

Happy Baking and decorating!!!!


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