Super Cute Bunny Butt Sugar Cookies

Super Cute Bunny Butt Sugar Cookies

 

You probably already know I am obsessed with super cute bunny butts this spring and Easter season. I am so excited about these super easy and super cute Bunny Butt sugar cookies! Aren’t their sprinkle tails just the cutest?!!???!!! Not only are they so adorable, but they are so delicious everyone has a hard time eating just one. This sugar cookie recipe has a secret ingredient that you do NOT want to miss. These cookies are so tasty and stand out from all the rest of the sugar cookie recipes out there. In fact with a side by side taste test, the other sugar cookies will taste like sweet cardboard compared to these sugar cookies!

 

I also just love these bunny cookie cutters I found on Etsy. I love the different floppy ears! The sprinkle cotton tails are super easy. I used this set of Wilton bunny on this cake, and noticed I had more bunny tails than sets of bunny feet. These extra tails inspired me for this design. I also had a bunch of super cute spring sprinkles I was dying to use, and if you have seen my gold accented wood Easter egg mantel you know I love a coordinating variety of colors!

 

I am pretty sure the Wilton bunny tails are made of hardened royal icing, and if I had a mold I would make my own. BUT convenience won and helped to make this a super easy project. I opted to use my Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting, but I always am torn and love to use my Cooked Frosting as well. The cooked frosting is whiter than the cream cheese frosting, but I do not mind the off white bunnies either. I think they are pretty darn cute.

I didn’t use a piping tip for the bunny bodies and ears; I just used the open end of a piping bag. I love the effect piping the bunny bodies have with no piping tip. I basically outlined the different areas of the bunny bodies. I used a single line I piped “up-then-down” almost like it was in one single motion, and then I used my fingers to pinch off the tip of the ears to get a point at the end. Super easy.

For the sprinkle bunny tails, I took the pre-made plain white tails and ran them under water to wet them. I set them on a paper towel to sop up the extra water on the back sides, and any that may drip off the domed fronts while I got out a plate and the sprinkles I wanted to use. I then placed the wet bunny tails, that were sticky at this point, on the plate and I squished the sprinkles I wanted on each tail. I already had my bunny bodies frosted, and I am not patient so I risked positioning the sprinkled tails on the cookies right away. In retrospect, I am glad I did that so that the sprinkled dried on the sticky bunny tail surface in place. I’m not quite sure if I left them on the plate to dry that they may have ended up sticking to the plate and possibly damaging them to get them off.

The Last Sugar Cookie Recipe You Will Ever Need

Are you tired of boring, almost bland sugar cookies? Don’t even enjoy sugar cookies because they are almost like sweet cardboard? NOT these sugar cookies! There’s a slight tang from cream cheese, flavors pop with vanilla and almond extract, sweet and salty bring the best balance, and the secret ingredient: BROWNED BUTTER.  You cannot go wrong with these cookies. I like mine with a crisp edge, and an aldente but not quite soft texture. 

3/4 c. browned butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 c. cream cheese (1/2 of a 8 oz pkg)

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. almond extract

2 tsp. salt

4 c. flour (reserve one cup as needed)

1) In a sauce pan on med heat, brown your butter. Watch the butter as it starts to froth up, and stir as needed. You will notice the froth will go down, and then start frothing again. By the 2nd froth/bubbling I have found this is about the time you want to stop browning the butter. Take the butter off the stove as you smell the nutty richness. Chill the browned butter until solid.

2) Let the browned butter and the cream cheese come up to room temperature. 

3) Cream the browned butter, cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer, or using a hand held mixer in a large bowl. You will see the color turn light and the mix becomes fluffy. 

4) Add the egg, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Scrap down the sides with a silicone spatula. 

5) Add 3 cups of flour and mix. Scrape down the sides. Add the remaining flour in 1/4 cup increments as needed. You know the dough is ready when it comes to a ball and is clean away from the side of the bowl. Depending on the humidity and elevation, you will need to be vigilant in how much flour you add, and may not need the extra full cup. The dough is pretty stiff, but not crumbly to where the flour is not incorporated. 

6) Split the dough into two equal parts. Wrap each dough section in cling wrap. Flatten into a rectangle, and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, overnight if necessary. An alternative step at this point(or just intentionally make a double or triple batch), if you choose to make frozen dough disks (I use an ice cream scoop and flatten the round dough to a puck shape, line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper, freeze on a cookie sheet, then place the pucks in a freezer safe ziploc bag to keep frozen sugar cookie dough on hand for in a pinch cookie hankerings–you can bake frozen, just watch the cookies because they may need extra time being baked from a frozen state).

7) When you are ready to roll out, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to let the dough warm up a bit on the counter, especially if it has been chilling overnight. 

8) Lightly flour the surface, then roll out your dough to 3/8 inch for thick cookies. If you prefer thinner cookies, adjust the bake time down. Cut out your dough, and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Space them at least a half inch apart. The cookies should not spread. If you want to sprinkle sanding sugar on the cookies and not frost them, do so before baking them. These are great cookies to eat without frosting, but I have an even better recipe for sugar cookies if you just want sanding sugar on them, but these work as well. 

9) Bake for 9-11 min. If your cookies are thinner or small cut out, watch them at 7-9 min. A perfectly baked cookie will show golden patches on the bottom, but not dark brown or worse.  Rest on the cookie sheet until cooled enough to move the parchment without damaging the cookies, and cool on a counter off the hot cookie sheet, or in a airtight container. If your first batch of cookies does not have the wonderfully crackled look on top, knead the rest of the dough before rolling out and baking. 

10) Completely cool before frosting. Check out my Cooked Frosting, which I think beats any butter cream frosting on these cookies hands down!

Floral Easter Egg Sugar Cookies using Cream Cheese Buttercream

Floral Easter Egg Sugar Cookies using Cream Cheese Buttercream

 

I am a fan of delicious sugar cookies with yummy buttercream, and what better time of year to have an excuse to not only bake but decorate THE best sugar cookies you have ever tasted than Easter! BUT it cannot be a sugar cookie that tastes like sweet cardboard–if you don’t know what I mean, oh you are in desperate need to make these cookies and have a side-by-side taste test with an ordinary sugar cookie recipe. Easter and spring go hand in hand for me, so after making such cute spring colored floral cakes like this one, it was a no-brainer to decorate Easter egg cookies in the same way!

 

I’ve wanted to try my hand at royal icing decorated cookies…but, I have always hesitated and I am not one to hesitate because I am scared of “failing”…if I hesitate, it’s because something just doesn’t jive…something just doesn’t fit…something is off…and then it hit me. I don’t make anything I personally will NOT absolutely go to food nirvana for. Royal icing just doesn’t tantalize my taste buds. I’m not into cookies that just look cute, I want to go to dessert 7th heaven so the calories, and what I gotta do to burn them off, is worth it!

Once you have a sugar cookie recipe that knocks people’s socks off–and trust me, you will get loads of people asking for the recipe, because the secret ingredient will set these sugar cookies light years apart of all the rest–the fun becomes how many different ways can you decorate them with buttercream. I feel like buttercream gets a bad rap with regards to sugar cookie decorating since all the gorgeous royal icing decorated cookies hit Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, they are stunning! 

You will savor every last morsel of these cookies, and the only thing you will be sad about, is when the last one gets eaten up!

How cute did these turn out! I used this cream cheese frosting (found at the bottom of the page), and the same piping tips as I used on this cake, as well as the same sprinkles. The cookie recipe is below. How are you planning to decorate your Easter sugar cookies?

The Last Sugar Cookie Recipe You Will Ever Need

Are you tired of boring, almost bland sugar cookies? Don’t even enjoy sugar cookies because they are almost like sweet cardboard? NOT these sugar cookies! There’s a slight tang from cream cheese, flavors pop with vanilla and almond extract, sweet and salty bring the best balance, and the secret ingredient: BROWNED BUTTER.  You cannot go wrong with these cookies. I like mine with a crisp edge, and an aldente but not quite soft texture. 

3/4 c. browned butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 c. cream cheese (1/2 of a 8 oz pkg)

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. almond extract

2 tsp. salt

4 c. flour (reserve one cup as needed)

1) In a sauce pan on med heat, brown your butter. Watch the butter as it starts to froth up, and stir as needed. You will notice the froth will go down, and then start frothing again. By the 2nd froth/bubbling I have found this is about the time you want to stop browning the butter. Take the butter off the stove as you smell the nutty richness. Chill the browned butter until solid.

2) Let the browned butter and the cream cheese come up to room temperature. 

3) Cream the browned butter, cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer, or using a hand held mixer in a large bowl. You will see the color turn light and the mix becomes fluffy. 

4) Add the egg, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Scrap down the sides with a silicone spatula. 

5) Add 3 cups of flour and mix. Scrape down the sides. Add the remaining flour in 1/4 cup increments as needed. You know the dough is ready when it comes to a ball and is clean away from the side of the bowl. Depending on the humidity and elevation, you will need to be vigilant in how much flour you add, and may not need the extra full cup. The dough is pretty stiff, but not crumbly to where the flour is not incorporated. 

6) Split the dough into two equal parts. Wrap each dough section in cling wrap. Flatten into a rectangle, and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, overnight if necessary. An alternative step at this point(or just intentionally make a double or triple batch), if you choose to make frozen dough disks (I use an ice cream scoop and flatten the round dough to a puck shape, line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper, freeze on a cookie sheet, then place the pucks in a freezer safe ziploc bag to keep frozen sugar cookie dough on hand for in a pinch cookie hankerings–you can bake frozen, just watch the cookies because they may need extra time being baked from a frozen state).

7) When you are ready to roll out, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to let the dough warm up a bit on the counter, especially if it has been chilling overnight. 

8) Lightly flour the surface, then roll out your dough to 3/8 inch for thick cookies. If you prefer thinner cookies, adjust the bake time down. Cut out your dough, and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Space them at least a half inch apart. The cookies should not spread. If you want to sprinkle sanding sugar on the cookies and not frost them, do so before baking them. These are great cookies to eat without frosting, but I have an even better recipe for sugar cookies if you just want sanding sugar on them, but these work as well. 

9) Bake for 9-11 min. If your cookies are thinner or small cut out, watch them at 7-9 min. A perfectly baked cookie will show golden patches on the bottom, but not dark brown or worse.  Rest on the cookie sheet until cooled enough to move the parchment without damaging the cookies, and cool on a counter off the hot cookie sheet, or in a airtight container. If your first batch of cookies does not have the wonderfully crackled look on top, knead the rest of the dough before rolling out and baking. 

10) Completely cool before frosting. Check out my Cooked Frosting, which I think beats any butter cream frosting on these cookies hands down!

Check out these holiday sugar cookies I have made with this recipe. I love to use my Cooked Frosting as well as my cream cheese buttercream on these. I also love to stripe fruit fillings to add another dimension of flavor and color. I love how all of these cookies turned out! Not only are they adorable, but they are so delicious! I hope I can convince you how cute buttercream decorated cookies are.

Key Lime Cheesecake Sugar Cookies

Key Lime Cheesecake Sugar Cookies

 

After my last minute rush to get a Valentine’s dessert thrown together with leftover frosting, cookies, and raspberry filling, I stumbled on a NEW dessert that is so ridiculously AMAZING I don’t know how this desert hasn’t come to light yet! Cheesecake Sugar Cookies flavored with fruit fillings!!! I like to have holiday themes for each month and because it is March, I decided to go with a Key Lime flavor for my cakes and desserts. My new custom recipes this month included a  Blueberry Key Lime Cake, a Key LIme Tunnel cake, and a Key Lime Dressing for a spinach salad…AND last but definitely not least, my Key Lime Cheesecake Sugar Cookies. If you like Key Lime, you will LOVE these recipes! I am talking complete FOOD NIRVANA!

 

These cookies are so easy to put together, especially with a batch of my Key Lime fruit filling on hand, which is used in all the previously mentioned Key LIme recipes. I love having versatile recipes, and multiple uses with flavors I adore. And how cute are they as little Shamrocks! The piping was also very easy, and I didn’t even use a tip; I just used the open end of the piping bag. I started in the center of each shamrock, and piped two loops in each leaf, and ended at the stem (all in one continuous motion). 

 

In fact, I had a batch of my Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe at the bottom), and I just mixed in enough of my Key Lime Fruit Filling to get that oh so delicious tangy key lime cheesecake flavor. I made sure to NOT add too much fruit filling so the frosting was still a good piping consistency. I also added a drop of green and a drop of yellow food coloring to get a beautiful chartreuse green hue. I brought my first batch of these cookies to test out the recipe with my co-workers where I teach high school math, and they RAVED about them! I knew I wasn’t looney for thinking they were so good. Now I had confirmation of how dang delicious they were. Everyone was saying how perfectly tangy they were, and there was no doubt they were Key Lime Cheesecake. They also said the cookie was the perfect size to have a yummy dessert, but not over do it…and not get all the calories from a slice of Key Lime Pie!!!

Because I use a St. Patrick’s day rainbow and shamrock “Lucky” theme for March, I wanted a way to incorporate that with this recipe. So I busted out the larger shamrock cookie cutter and my rainbow sprinkles to get these stinkin’ cute shamrock cookies! I also love the added crunch from the sprinkles!!! You can see that one of the larger cookies I used the same green frosting as the smaller cookies, one was just my cream cheese frosting, and one I lined the piping bag with 3 stripes of the key lime fruit filling (recipe at the bottom) to get a variegated frosted cookie. I love the variations, and all are so yummy!

This is my go to sugar cookie recipe, and you will get rave reviews! To make these Key Lime Cheesecake Sugar Cookies, you need:

1 recipe of sugar cookies, cut out, baked, and completely cooled.

1 recipe of my cream cheese frosting (found at the bottom of the page)

1/4-1/2 c of my Key Lime Fruit Filling recipe.

Mix in the key lime fruit filling to taste, then pipe or frost your cookies. Store frosted cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and they will last up to 3 weeks. They also freeze well in an airtight container for up to 3 months. These storing guidelines also work for leftover frosting. I also use this Key Lime Cheesecake Frosting on cakes, and this cake was particularly delicious!

Key Lime Fruit Filling
Do you LOVE Key Lime but you don’t love the time it takes to make a key lime curd? Then you will adore this recipe! This fruit filling recipe is so versitile, you will loose count how many diffierent ways you can use it. I mostly use it to fill cakes, flavor frosting, and even in a vinaigrette recipe for a spinach salad. 
2 c fresh Key Lime Juice (or 1 1/2 c lime juice plus 1/2 lemon juice)

 

1/2 c sugar

T corn starch, mixed in 1/2 c cold water

1) Add all the ingredients except the corn starch & water mix in a sauce pan on med heat.

2) Bring the juice mix to a boil.

3) Add the corn starch and water mix, and let boil stirring constantly until thickened.

4) Let the fruit filling cool before adding to an airtight dish to chill in the refrigerator. DO not use to fill cakes or to add to frostings until completely chilled. 

 

NOTE: I use this to flavor frosting, fill cakes, vinaigrette dressing, and many other key lime recipes.

To fill a cake: frost the bottom layer with an even coating of frosting, pipe a frosting “dam” around the boarder of the frosted cake, then dollop a general tablespoon or two depending on the layer size, and spread evenly to the dam before topping with another layer of cake; and repeat until the top layer.

 

Raspberry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs

 

If you love raspberry cheesecake, you will absolutely die having one of these Raspberry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Cutouts! I sure did!!! Wow, these were so good, and frankly it was a fluke how I came up with these. I needed a dessert on the fly for my Valentine’s dinner I was having at home for my sweetheart, but I needed everything to come together FAST! We both just had a long day at work, and it had already been a long couple weeks, so we were tired. There was no way we were going to fight the crowds to enjoy a romantic dinner, and I LOVE pulling out the “fancy” linens and tablewares. I had a few heart cut-out sugar cookies from the Valentine’s cookies I made left over, but not frosted–BTW these are THE BEST sugar cookies you will ever have…no sweet cardboard here! I had leftover raspberry filling and my Perfect Ration Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting from a Dark Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Valentine’s cake I made,  and it hit me! Decorate them just like the other cookies I did but with what I have one hand, and use the gold and white sprinkles with the red sanding sugar and red heart sprinkles I had. Voila! What They looked stunning!

 

So with that, the Citrus Spinach Salad and Citrus Vinaigrette with all the salad toppings minus the Lime Grilled Chicken , and the Chicken Marsala with my fresh Silky Smooth Spinach Pasta, we were just about set! I just had my husband grab a dollar loaf of french bread on the way home. In almost an instant, we had fabulous Valentine’s dinner at home! Then I remembered I had leftover butter balls I made for an event, the stuff for my alcohol-free Sparkling White Grape Juice, left over strawberry filling I blended up to make Sour Non-Alchoholic Strawberry Daiquiris, lemons to slice for the water goblets, and boom, our dinner was just elevated to a 5-Star dining event without the high price and reservations, but full of fresh ingredients and the most flavorful meal we’ve had on a Valentine’s to date. Man, I have my work cut out for me to top this next year!

What I wasn’t expecting, was how freaking good those cookies I threw together were! Oh wow! I was in Raspberry Cheesecake Nirvana and I was eating a cookie!!! You don’t even know the pure blissful food-gasmic noises I was making eating that cookie. I wanted to eat my husband’s, but it look all my love and restraint I could muster to NOT eat his too! AND he is a slow, I mean S-L-O-W eater! Dang that was torture. The only solace I had was that I had enough cookies, filling, and frosting to have another tomorrow night along with our leftover from this dinner. Did I mention how much I LOVE leftover? I mean all the flavor, if not more, without the cooking and minimal cleanup!!! Win win win!!!

This was the Dark Chocolate Ganache Raspberry cake I made for a husband surprising his wife with on Valentine’s. It was so beautiful and the fresh raspberry filling I used in the dark chocolate cake layers, as well as to decorate and flavor the outside was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Decadent, rich, with the tang of cream cheese frosting, and the bright fresh sweet and sour of the raspberry was the perfect romantic combination to heighten all your senses. P.S. Did you know that besides sex, while eating we use all of our senses? How sensuous is that! No wonder food goes hand in hand with Valentine’s Day and any romantic date!

I had to show you the cookies I had all the leftover cutouts from, and my inspiration to decorate my Raspberry Cheesecake cookies. These are still my favorite, but you have to understand, I have a dickens of a time picking absolute favorites; to me everything depends on nuances and differences. These cookies for example, I couldn’t say which I my absolute favorite because they are both so dang good–one just happens to be more of a buttercream frosting, I call Cooked Frosting, and the other creamcheese, using my Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting, both using different berries that are both so ridiculously good. So don’t ask me for all time favorites, unless you want a complete list with differing qualifications and my own custom sub-categories! Haha! Yes, I am THAT complicated when it comes too what I consider to be “favorites” and I have a ton of them!

Raspberry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Have you ever thought what a Raspberry Cheesecake would taste like in a cookie form? These are it! Seemingly simple, the flavor will surprise you how good they are, and the all natural color you get from the raspberry fruit filling is only surpasses by its flavor.  Jazz them up with sanding sugar and sprinkles, and you have a masterpiece to indulge in by sight, smell, and taste. 

1 batch The Last Sugar Cookie Cutout Recipe You will Ever Need

1 piping bag (tips are optional for this look)

sanding sugar and sprinkles (optional)

 

1 recipe Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting

1 recipe Raspberry Fruit Filling (below)

 

1) Let your cookies completely cool before frosting to avoid melted frosting. 

2) If you have chilled your frosting, let it come to room temperature, then beat with a stand mixer or hand mixer to regain creamy fluffiness.

3) Completely chill your Raspberry Cake Filling before using. 

4) Stripe your piping bag with the raspberry filling, twice, one on opposite sides of the bag. Sometimes it works better for me to fill the piping bag with cream cheese frosting before striping with the filling. 

5) I do not use a piping tip to achieve this look. Start the top, and pipe a round bubble of frosting, and as easing off your piping pressure, pull back and create a smooth shell shape. Continue in rows with the contours of the cookie cutout. 

6) OPTIONAL: Top with spangles and sanding sugar of your choice. 

Raspberry Fruit Filling

1 1/2 c fresh or frozen raspberries 

1/4 c lemon juice

 

1/2 c sugar

2 T corn starch, mixed in 1/2 c cold water

 

1) Add all the ingredients except the corn starch & water mix in a sauce pan on med heat. 
2) Mash all the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice with a potato masher. As the mix heats up and starts to boil, the berries will give off more of their juices and the sugar will dissolve. 
3) After the mix has had a chance to heat through, the berries give off their juices, and the sugar is dissolved, pour the mix into a blender. Blend until smooth and even. 
4) Strain the juice back into the rinsed pan through a metal sieve using a metal spoon to circulate the seeds to get all the juice through. Discard the seeds.
5) Bring the seedless raspberry mix to a boil.
6) Add the corn starch and water mix, and let boil stirring constantly until thickened.
7) Let the fruit filling cool before adding to an airtight dish to chill in the refrigerator. DO not use to fill cakes or to add to frostings until completely chilled. 

The Last Sugar Cookie Cut-Out Recipe You will Ever Need

The Last Sugar Cookie Cut-Out Recipe You will Ever Need

 

Growing up, my mom had this sugar cookie recipe we used for cut-outs and a wonderful frosting she called Cooked Frosting.  I used those recipes and those alone, no questions asked.  Fast forward to sometime during the last 5 years since moving from Huntington Beach to Las Vegas after getting married, and amid various home improvements including two straight years of replacing the floors upstairs and downstairs, my cookie recipe got mangled. This was BAD! I’ve been on the hunt since then for the perfect recipe, and there are 10,000 out there to sort through. I started with the ones that used powdered sugar (okay, confectioners sugar…I’m from the midwest and it is powdered sugar to me), like Swig copy cat recipes. The problem is that any I made were not memorable! That’s a problem. If I made something I want it to be memorable. In other words, if it is a meh in my book, it doesn’t get made a second time. 

 

This picture attests to the last time I used the beloved sugar cookie recipe from my childhood. It was my first Valentine’s day with my husband, who I was dating at the time, and not yet exclusive. Now, the question as to whether these cookies and heart individual cakes with the special Cooked Frosting were the reason we become exclusive, remains to be seen.

And the search continued…then a major break through!

I was at a math teacher conference in Palm Springs, getting my fill of Sherman’s dessert selection and Reuben sandwich, Norwegian style (no thousand island dressing, only yellow mustard–of course I can’t go without a CUSTOM order). While I was waiting to order, I was chatting with this delightful fellow food snob. Pardon me, but I own it, and we were commiserating on how we detest ordering anything out we felt we could have made better at home. We got on the topic of desserts, and somehow on BROWNED BUTTER! It hit me. DUH, use browned butter!!!

 

So this sat in my mind, filed in the back “as needed.” Life went on. As my mind got through teaching, got through Thanksgiving, vacation mode, and turned to planning for my annual Christmas Kick Off Dinner, my mind started to swirl around all the Christmas related to-do items I needed to accomplish. As soon as I remembered the annual cookie exchange a gal in my ward at church hosts, I thought, “Dang it, I am gonna bring sugar cookie cut outs this year, and I’m gonna use BROWNED BUTTER.” Never mind that lost original cookie recipe had nothing to do with browned butter. Ok, time to upgrade, and shift. Time to let that recipe from my childhood lie in the past. Time to move up and move on. Enough with the obsession to find a like recipe that used powdered sugar like I remembered using. And while I am at it, I might as well find one that has a tang I like. So I found a Taste of Home Recipe for White Velvet Cutouts. Ooooh, White Velvet, as my thoughts immediately went to Black Velvet by Alannah Myles, and images of me dancing all sultry like with the kitchen fridge door. Hot…but I digress. So then I’m thinking, “ya, but I don’t want a crispy cookie.” Not wanting to change it, I did a quick search on Pinterest and found this recipe. This was all coming full circle, and now all I needed to do was add my BROWNED BUTTER…and 4 dozen cookies for this exchange plus at least a dozen to keep. Ok, so I don’t work on a small scale basis…nor do I measure reliably… and I go a lot by feel and taste as I go when I cook or bake…I understand, this poses a problem for duplicating a recipe. I tried my best to write down any and all ways I strayed from the recipe to my best when in my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants mode and it’s-get-this-done-now-or-never time crunch. I leave notes cards all over the place for various projects. Last week I made the recipe to confirm my measurements, and by golly, it worked! Woo hoo!

BROWNED BUTTER: adds a rich, toffee-esque, almost nutty, full bodied flavor to these cookies. No sweet cardboard here! Take my word for it…or don’t, and try a “regular” sugar cookie next to one of these babies. The difference in flavor will knock your socks off. The number of calls, texts, emails, FB posts to get this recipe after the cookie exchange surprised me, until I tried another sugar cookie. I knew these cookies were delicious, but until I had the side-by-side taste test with cookies I got from the exchange, I couldn’t fully grasp it. 

I am the type of baker that needs to do things in stages. I’ve got multiple things to get done at any given time of the day, and any wasted time just sitting there waiting just doesn’t cut it. SO, if I bake a cake, cookies, whatever it may be, and it needs to have rest time somewhere from beginning to end, I usually break it up into multiple days if it’s during the week. For example, when I brown my butter and I need to chill it, in goes the pan I browned it in on a hot plate in the fridge, and I forget it until I have time to go to the next step. Fortunately, this works phenomenally for me and my browned butter. While one person may insist this is WAY too much work for extra flavor, I just want to say it is totally worth it and it is totally do-able if you break it down into phases. Browning  and chilling the butter is phase one

Phase One: Make the browned butter, and chill completely before using in the sugar cookie recipe.

Phase Two: using the browned butter and make the dough. Then pop the divided and wrapped dough into the fridge to chill, possibly overnight…one to two hours if it is a weekend and I can get other things done in the meantime.

Phase Three: Take out the dough and let it warm up a bit so it’s pliable while I do something else like make the frosting that will chill in the fridge until it has it’s turn. I also pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Phase Four: Get out the cookie sheets. Line them with parchment paper. Dust my work surface with flour. Roll the dough out to a beautiful 3/8 of an inch using this rolling pin or a couple spoon handles about that diameter on each side. Cut them and place them on the cookie sheet, spaced about 1/2 to 1 inch apart. These cookies should not spread. If they do, something went amiss. Pop two full cookie sheets into the over, and get the next two cookie sheets loaded. Set the timer for 12 minutes and sit my hiney down to breathe. It’s a well oiled machine if done right.

At this point, I chuck the phase mentality, and I adopt the “I better not forget the timer or go somewhere and burn these puppies so all my work goes down the tube” mentality and rest on the couch. Unfortunately, this is when I realize how tired I am, but the sheer will to not waste my efforts to this point trumps my will to stay parked on the couch.

Once the cookies rest on the cookie sheet until cool enough to handle, I will pick up the whole parchment paper and transfer the cookies to cool on my beloved, hand made–ahem, CUSTOM–wood cutting board. You can also put them in an airtight container if they have cooled enough until ready to frost.

I generally do NOT frost my cookies the same day I bake them. You can call this another phase, but I call this experience from melted dripping messy frosting because I am not patient if I try to wait.

 

Didn’t these turn out so adorable? I sure thought so. Here is the link to the frosting recipe and the sprinkles I used. I also used this mixed berry filling to add flavor and color to the frosting. If I need color I can use a fruit filling to get, as well as add to the flavor, you bet your bottom dollar I will pass up the food coloring!

I need to admit something. I LOVE the designs so many amazing cookie masters make with royal icing, but I CANNOT get myself to try it. I have confidence in my piping and design skills, but I LOVE thick, yummy, flavorful frosting, and royal icing just doesn’t do it for me.

How would you decorate these incredibly flavorful Browned Butter Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs?.

The Last Sugar Cookie Recipe You Will Ever Need

Are you tired of boring, almost bland sugar cookies? Don’t even enjoy sugar cookies because they are almost like sweet cardboard? NOT these sugar cookies! There’s a slight tang from cream cheese, flavors pop with vanilla and almond extract, sweet and salty bring the best balance, and the secret ingredient: BROWNED BUTTER.  You cannot go wrong with these cookies. I like mine with a crisp edge, and an aldente but not quite soft texture. 

3/4 c. browned butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 c. cream cheese (1/2 of a 8 oz pkg)

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. almond extract

2 tsp. salt

4 c. flour (reserve one cup as needed)

1) In a sauce pan on med heat, brown your butter. Watch the butter as it starts to froth up, and stir as needed. You will notice the froth will go down, and then start frothing again. By the 2nd froth/bubbling I have found this is about the time you want to stop browning the butter. Take the butter off the stove as you smell the nutty richness. Chill the browned butter until solid.

2) Let the browned butter and the cream cheese come up to room temperature. 

3) Cream the browned butter, cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer, or using a hand held mixer in a large bowl. You will see the color turn light and the mix becomes fluffy. 

4) Add the egg, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Scrap down the sides with a silicone spatula. 

5) Add 3 cups of flour and mix. Scrape down the sides. Add the remaining flour in 1/4 cup increments as needed. You know the dough is ready when it comes to a ball and is clean away from the side of the bowl. Depending on the humidity and elevation, you will need to be vigilant in how much flour you add, and may not need the extra full cup. The dough is pretty stiff, but not crumbly to where the flour is not incorporated. 

6) Split the dough into two equal parts. Wrap each dough section in cling wrap. Flatten into a rectangle, and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, overnight if necessary. An alternative step at this point(or just intentionally make a double or triple batch), if you choose to make frozen dough disks (I use an ice cream scoop and flatten the round dough to a puck shape, line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper, freeze on a cookie sheet, then place the pucks in a freezer safe ziploc bag to keep frozen sugar cookie dough on hand for in a pinch cookie hankerings–you can bake frozen, just watch the cookies because they may need extra time being baked from a frozen state).

7) When you are ready to roll out, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to let the dough warm up a bit on the counter, especially if it has been chilling overnight. 

8) Lightly flour the surface, then roll out your dough to 3/8 inch for thick cookies. If you prefer thinner cookies, adjust the bake time down. Cut out your dough, and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Space them at least a half inch apart. The cookies should not spread. If you want to sprinkle sanding sugar on the cookies and not frost them, do so before baking them. These are great cookies to eat without frosting, but I have an even better recipe for sugar cookies if you just want sanding sugar on them, but these work as well. 

9) Bake for 9-11 min. If your cookies are thinner or small cut out, watch them at 7-9 min. A perfectly baked cookie will show golden patches on the bottom, but not dark brown or worse.  Rest on the cookie sheet until cooled enough to move the parchment without damaging the cookies, and cool on a counter off the hot cookie sheet, or in a airtight container. If your first batch of cookies does not have the wonderfully crackled look on top, knead the rest of the dough before rolling out and baking. 

10) Completely cool before frosting. Check out my Cooked Frosting, which I think beats any butter cream frosting on these cookies hands down!

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