Tag Archives: christmas cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesIf you want to know what kind of person I am outside of this blog, you should know that I once spent six months of my life obsessively making jam (and preserves) in a kitchen that is smaller that my current closet. Strawberry, cherry, grapefruit marmalade, gingered nectarine—you name it. I had all the preserving equipment you can imagine and an entire kitchen shelf filled with jars of colorful fruit-based spreads.

Years later, I’m pretty sure all that equipment (except for my beloved jar funnels—great stocking stuffer, btw!) and that jam is still sitting in that apartment because I left it all there when I moved out…because I don’t particularly care for jam. I just like to make it.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesSo, to wrap that up: I am prone to intense kitchen projects (hello, three year-old food blog with 338 unique recipes) and I have never once wanted a linzer cookie.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesI mean, I am all about crunchy, nutty roll-out cookies, but why must they always be sandwiched with jam? Jam is not a dessert food, at least as far as I am concerned. A breakfast food? Sure. Lunch? You bet. Dessert? No way.*

*Except in these.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesYou know what absolutely *is* a dessert food? Nutella.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate hazelnut spread = dessert food.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate hazelnut cookies = dessert food.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesA layer of Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread sandwiched between two crunchy chocolate hazelnut cookies = the dessertiest dessert food.

(“Dessertiest” is a word today.)Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesSo, in conclusion, when it comes to Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies, no jam, no problem.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies
Looking for more chocolate hazelnut? Check out this cake, this granola, these grain-free cookies, these brownies, and this pie. Oh, and this other pie. And this buttercream. I ❤ chocolate hazelnut.

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies
makes 22-24 sandwich cookies

1/2 cup raw whole hazelnuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably dutch process)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar, for dusting
1/4-1/2 cup Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread (based on preference)

Special Equipment:
rolling pin
2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter
1-inch cookie cutter
sifter or mesh sieve

Preheat oven to 350F. Place hazelnuts on a dry, rimmed sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Immediately transfer hazelnuts to a clean, dry, textured hand towel. Fold towel around the hazelnuts and then rub the towel with the palm of your hand. This will allow the hazelnut skins to loosen. This step does not have to be done perfectly.

Once hazelnuts are cool, transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a fine meal forms. Set aside.

Make the cookie dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer. When butter is fluffy and lighter in color, beat in sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Mix in hazelnut meal. Add dry ingredients to in two installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough with a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Place half the cut cookies on prepared pans. Use a smaller cutter to cut a small hole in the center of the remaining cookies before placing them on the prepared pans. If dough becomes too warm, freeze pans of cut cookies for 10 minutes before baking.

Bake 12-13 minutes, until slightly puffed. They will be a touch soft, but will crisp up as they cool. Let cookies cool at least 10 minutes on their pans before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking until all dough has been used.

Set a cooling rack over a piece of parchment. Once all cookies are baked and cooled, set the cookies with the centers cut out on a prepared rack. Sift confectioners sugar over the tops.

Spread each whole cookie with 1/2-1 teaspoon of Nutella (amount is based on your preference). Carefully sandwich cookies together. Serve.

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days. Place wax paper between layers for best storage.
Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies

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Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}

Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}How freaking cute are these Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies?!Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}They’re a favorite from my nanny days. That’s right—this is one cookie decorating method that is surprisingly kid-friendly. No soon-to-be-hard-as-rock royal icing, just delicious, colorful sugar cookies with a little icing flourish.Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}It all goes back to a sweet request from a seven year-old (who is now eleven, which is enough to make me want to cry). He and I had gotten into the rather enjoyable habit of baking together on Friday afternoons. I usually chose what we made, but then he asked if we could decorate cookies one day and…well, it sounded a little fun and a little insane and I like to think I’m a little of both of those things.Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}I knew I was not going to give this kid a bag of royal icing—he had difficulty with basic motor skills, so giving him a bag of sugar-based concrete simply was not an option. Also, he had a two year-old little sister (who is now six…*sobs*) who was prone to very enthusiastic Taylor Swift dance parties and getting stuff everywhere (because she was, in fact, two). But I wanted to fulfill his request, so I spent that night baking a batch of plain sugar cookies and took five minutes the following day to whisk together a few different colors of sweetened condensed milk paint. I lined the breakfast table with wax paper, tied aprons around both kids and, with some real hesitation, gave them paintbrushes.Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}While I was aware that this little culinary arts & crafts project could have gone very messy, it actually ended up being one of the happiest afternoons of my nannying career. Since both kids had handled a paintbrush before, they had the motor skills to paint the cookies the way they wanted. Once they were done with their masterpieces, I baked them a few minutes to set. Once the painted cookies were cool and no longer sticky, I piped on some icing with their direction.Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}By far, the best part was that the kids were super excited and proud to show their work to their parents, and their parents and I were happy that they had spent an entire afternoon without asking for a screen, or worse, saying they were bored. #childcarewin Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}After that, we had a cookie-painting party for every holiday, birthday, and sleepover. There was always a little mess, of course, but there’s also mess when I, a real-live adult, paint cookies too. In this case, it can be wiped away easily, instead of chiseled off counters and floors while saying every curse word I know (and I know a lot of them).Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}Now, it has been a few years since I last nannied, and I don’t have kids or nieces and nephews, but I still love to decorate cookies this way. Painting with sweetened condensed milk paint is a very meditative process, and I can very happily while away a few hours with a few colors of paint and a pack of brushes. I’ve even considered having friends over for an afternoon of cookie painting instead of a more traditional swap. Doesn’t that sound fun?!Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}I highly recommend using a fresh (or at least, food-dedicated) set of paintbrushes for painting cookies. Don’t use the cheapest you find—those tend to lose bristles in the painting process. The second-cheapest are totally okay though. The set I used here goes for $5 at Michaels.Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}You could absolutely detail your Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies with royal icing, but I think a very thick batch of simple icing works just as well and is twice as easy to make. Whatever you choose to use, know that it will take several hours to fully dry.Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}But like, you can definitely eat cookies with slightly damp icing. It’s the holidays. Live your best life.Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
makes 3-4 dozen medium cookies

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 oz (1/2 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

Special Equipment:
rolling pin
cookie cutters

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cream in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Divide dough into quarters and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Take one quarter of chilled dough at a time, roll it to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut with cookie cutters. Place cut cookies at least 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 7-8 minutes, until no longer raw-looking. Let cookies cool on the pans for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookie Paint
makes up to 14 colors

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
food coloring (gel or liquid)
water

Special Equipment:
small bowls
wax paper or parchment paper
paintbrushes

To make one tablespoon of one color of paint:

Combine 1 tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk, 1/8 teaspoon (or more) of food coloring, and 1/8 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk until combined. Adjust color as necessary. Paint will be thick. Repeat until you have all your desired colors.

To paint a cookie:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Line a surface with wax paper or parchment paper. Using a clean paintbrush, apply 1 thin layer of cookie paint to the top of a baked & cooled sugar cookie. For a richer color, let set 5 minutes at room temperature before applying a second coat of paint. Rinse brushes well with water and blot with a towel before switching colors.

Bake cookies 5 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on a rack. Decorate with Simple Detail Icing (recipe below), if desired.

Simple Detail Icing
makes enough for one batch of sugar cookies

2 cups confectioners sugar
6-8 teaspoons milk

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioners sugar and 6 teaspoons milk. Add milk by the 1/2 teaspoon until icing dribbled into the bowl forms a ribbon that fades within a few seconds. Place 1/2 cup of icing into a piping bag with a tip. Alternatively, load icing into a plastic sandwich bag and snip a very tiny corner. Decorate cookies as desired.

Icing will start to set within an hour, but will not completely harden for 12-24 hours.
Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}Hand-Painted Sugar Cookies {Kid-Friendly Cookie Decorating}

Holiday Icing Thumbprints

Holiday Icing ThumbprintsI’m continuing through my list of classic Christmas cookies/treats of which I have previously been deprived My latest observation in this multi-year endeavor is that a lot of popular holiday desserts are just variations on sugar cookie dough. If you need proof, see here, here, and here (and then make all of those recipes and invite me over). Holiday Icing ThumbprintsYou’d think this would somehow make Christmas cookie trays boring, but how could anyone *possibly* be bored when there are Holiday Icing Thumbprints to be had?!Holiday Icing ThumbprintsYou are probably familiar with the more traditional jam thumbprints—usually a sugar or shortbread cookie with a little well of jam (the titular “thumbprint”) baked into the middle. Those are great and all, but these are their more fun cousins. I mean, these are basically just a socially acceptable vehicle for eating icing. And they have sprinkles. Yesssssss.Holiday Icing ThumbprintsHoliday Icing ThumbprintsHoliday Icing Thumbprints are super easy to make. Mix the dough and then chill, scoop, and roll it into balls. Press the back of a small spoon into each dough ball before baking for 12-13 minutes. You could, of course, make the “thumbprints” with your thumb, but I vastly prefer the consistent shape that comes from using a 1/2 teaspoon.Holiday Icing ThumbprintsHoliday Icing ThumbprintsSince these thumbprints are baked without a filling, their centers will puff dramatically while they’re in the oven. The pre-baking press is less for the sake of the wells and more because it means the cookies won’t be as prone to unsightly cracking when you press wells into them again after baking. It’s the most tedious part of this recipe, but it makes for really aesthetically pleasing results. (Also, it’s really satisfying.)Holiday Icing ThumbprintsAfter that, there’s nothing left to do but squeeze red and green icing into the wells and scatter holiday sprinkles over the tops!Holiday Icing ThumbprintsOh, and to admire them for their undeniable cuteness and holiday cheer. And to eat like four of them while nobody’s looking.Holiday Icing Thumbprints

Holiday Icing Thumbprints
makes about 3.5 dozen cookies

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 oz (1/2 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

Icing & Garnish:
1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar, divided
2-3 tablespoons (6-9 teaspoons) milk
red food coloring (gel or liquid)
green food coloring (gel or liquid)
holiday sprinkles, optional

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cream in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll each int a ball. Place dough balls at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Use the back of a very small spoon (like a 1/2 teaspoon) to slowly press a well into each dough ball. They may crack a bit—just smooth them with your fingers. If dough gets too warm and sticky, freeze for 10 minutes.

Bake cookies 12-13 minutes. Cookies are done when puffed and no longer wet-looking. When you remove the cookies from the oven, press the back of the small spoon into the centers again. Let cookies cool on the pans for 10 minutes before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling and baking process with all remaining dough, letting the cookie sheets come back to room temperature between batches.

Make the icing. Place 2/3 cup of confectioners sugar in each of two small bowls. Stir 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of milk into each bowl. Add some red food coloring to one bowl and green to the other. Whisk each with a fork until combined. Add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon until icings are very thick, but pourable.

Transfer icings to piping bags (or ziptop sandwich bags) twist them tight and snip off very small corners. Fill wells in cookies as desired and decorate with holiday sprinkles, if using.

Icing will set after a few hours. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. Place wax paper between layers for easiest storage. Holiday Icing Thumbprints Holiday Icing ThumbprintsHoliday Icing Thumbprints

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane CookiesA few years ago, I posted a question on social media asking for Christmas cookie recommendations. Since I grew up largely without homemade Christmas treats, holiday baking was a bit of a mystery to me. Since then, I’ve spent the holidays steadily working my way through the (very) long list supplied by various Facebook friends. Those classics have been interspersed with other festive treats, of course, but I work my way through that list a little more each holiday season. Over the years, there have been Chocolate Crinkles and Gingerbread Men and plenty of shortbread, but I’ve kept putting off Candy Cane Cookies. (Until today, duh.)Candy Cane CookiesI found these twisty two-tone vanilla-mint cookies super intimidating. I have pretty sad motor skills and was afraid I didn’t have a dough in my arsenal that wouldn’t spread out and get weird. As usual though, I shouldn’t have been concerned.*

*I can’t be the only person out there who has cookie-related anxiety.Candy Cane CookiesMy Candy Cane Cookies are totally adorable, delicious, and festive as all get-out! The dough I use here is a slight variation on the one I use for my Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies. A very slight variation. The only differences are a 1/2 teaspoon less baking powder, a little more vanilla, and peppermint extract instead of almond.

Oh, and that half the dough is dyed bright red.Candy Cane CookiesThis dough gets a three hour chill before it’s formed into cookies. A tablespoon of each color of dough is rolled into a rope.Candy Cane CookiesCandy Cane CookiesThey’re twisted together and smoothed before being formed into candy cane shapes.Candy Cane CookiesCandy Cane CookiesCandy Cane CookiesIf you want your cookies to have a more “arts & crafts” look, you can skip the smoothing step. Your cookies will be a little shorter and chunkier, but just as delicious as their more realistic-looking counterparts.Candy Cane CookiesCandy Cane CookiesThe formed cookies each get a brush of egg white glaze before baking. This gives them a little sheen post-baking, and also allows you to decorate with holiday sprinkles and sparkling sugar. Cute, right?!Candy Cane CookiesCandy Cane Cookies expand a tiny bit while baking, but only enough to hide any imperfections incurred during the shaping process. I kind of like that they’re not all carbon copies of each other though.Candy Cane CookiesI’m also a big fan of their crisp edges, soft centers, and buttery mint flavor. Add in their hefty dose of holiday cheer and…well, what’s not to love? ❤ Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies
makes 22-23 cookies

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 oz (1/2 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (not mint extract)
1-1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring (preferably gel)

Glaze & Garnish:
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
holiday sprinkles and/or sparkling sugar, if desired

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cream in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each.

Divide dough in half. Form 1 half into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Set aside.

Add red food coloring to remaining dough and mix until evenly colored. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill both disks of dough for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough from each disk. Roll each tablespoon into a 6-inch rope. Carefully twist ropes together. Gently roll twist until edges are smooth and rope is 8-8 1/2 inches long. Remove to prepared pan and bend rope into a candy can shape. Repeat with remaining dough, setting formed dough at least 2 inches apart. Freeze formed dough for 10 minutes.

Make glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and water until some bubbles form. Brush each formed cookie with a thin coat of the glaze and sprinkle with holiday sprinkles and/or sparkling sugar, if using.

Bake cookies 12-13 minutes. Cookies are done when dough is no longer wet-looking and edges are turning ever so slightly golden. Let cookies cool on the pans for 10 minutes before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, forming, glazing, and baking with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Candy Cane CookiesCandy Cane CookiesCandy Cane Cookies

Stained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass CookiesHello there! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving break. I had a wonderful time in Massachusetts and Rhode Island with 2/3 of my immediate family, but am happy to be home for a few weeks to work on all sorts of holiday goodness! I’ve got loads of great posts headed your way before December 25th, but this first cookie recipe of the season, which benefits Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, might be my most important post of the whole year.Stained Glass CookiesIf that organization sounds familiar, it’s because I supported them last year too as a participant in The Sweetest Season. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that encourages people to raise funds for pediatric cancer research by making cookies and sharing them with friends and family. The goal is to raise funds to facilitate innovative treatments, one cookie at a time. Many supporters (AKA “Good Cookies”) choose to have bake sales or cookie swaps, but I’m participating with a group of bloggers by posting new cookies recipes and donating directly. I made my donation on Giving Tuesday, but if you’d like to learn more and/or make a charitable donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, click here.Stained Glass CookiesThere’s no easy way to transition from writing about pediatric cancer to writing about anything else, so please excuse this clunky attempt. Now that I’ve made my donation to this wonderful organization, it’s time to talk about holiday cookies, namely these stunning Stained Glass Cookies!Stained Glass CookiesThese were one of the first Christmas cookies I ever made. My mother didn’t (and doesn’t) bake, but once when we were little, she dropped my sister and me at a kids’ cooking school for a day of holiday treats. While I don’t remember any other cookies we made that day, I do remember crushing hard candies and watching them transform in the oven into beautiful “stained glass.”
Stained Glass CookiesStained Glass CookiesStained Glass CookiesBut I’m getting ahead of myself. If you’ve never heard of Stained Glass Cookies, they’re nothing more than roll-out sugar cookies (in this case, my Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies) with the centers cut out and filled with crushed hard candy. As they bake, the candy melts into a thin, transparent sheet, similar to a stained glass window. Neat, huh?Stained Glass CookiesStained Glass CookiesAnd freaking beautiful, am I right?!Stained Glass Cookies

These cookies are simple to make. The recipe is straightforward enough that there’s no need for a tutorial, but I’ve got a few notes for you anyway. Because of course I do.

  • You can use any cookie cutters you like, permitting that they are in graduated sizes.
  • I used crushed Jolly Ranchers candy here. I chose to only use one flavor of candy per cookie, but feel free to mix and match to your holiday heart’s content.
  • These are a great cookie to make with kids, permitting you don’t mind them getting a little sugared up (in which case you probably shouldn’t be making cookies anyway and you may be on the wrong website 🙂 ). Just make the dough ahead and let them help cut and fill. I made these frequently in my nanny days and they were always a big hit.

Stained Glass CookiesAll that said, I hope you’re as excited for holiday baking as I am! Here’s to a season of sweets, treats, and doing kind things for our fellows…you know, like putting a few dollars toward a good cause ❤ Or making a batch of Stained Glass Cookies for people you love.Stained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass Cookies
makes about 5 dozen medium cookies

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 oz (1/2 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 12 ounce bag Jolly Ranchers or other hard candy, crushed
sparkling sugar, optional

Special Equipment:
rolling pin
graduated cookie cutters

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cream in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Divide dough into quarters and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Take one quarter of chilled dough at a time, roll it to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut with cookie cutters. Place cut cookies at least 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Use smaller cookie cutters to cut out centers of cut cookies. Remove center dough and fill Cookie centers with a few pieces of crushed candy. Sprinkle exposed cookie dough with sparkling sugar, if desired.

Bake cookies 7-8 minutes, rotating top-to-bottom and front-to-back at the halfway point. Cookies are done when dough is no longer wet-looking and centers are bubbly. Let cookies cool on the pans for ten minutes before carefully peeling cookies away parchment and removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting, filling, and baking with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. Separate layers of cookies with wax paper.
Stained Glass CookiesStained Glass CookiesStained Glass Cookies

Stained Glass Cookies