Butter Cookie Dough:
- 1/2 cup(s) butter, softened
- 4 ounce(s) cream cheese
- 1 1/4 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
- 3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- In large bowl, with electric mixer on medium-high, beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, salt, and baking powder.
- Mix in flour on low speed until dough just holds together. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour. Follow directions for desired cookies.
- Butter Almond Swirl Cookies: Knead one quarter of the Butter Cookie Dough (above) with 1 can (8 ounces) almond paste. In plastic food storage bag, knead half the almond dough with green paste food coloring. Knead remaining almond dough with red food coloring. Roll remaining cookie dough to a 13" x 11" rectangle. Roll out green dough to 11" x 5 1/2" sheet. Place over half of the large rectangle and fold plain dough over green dough. Trim edges. Roll red dough into 6" square. Place over half of rectangle and fold it over. Roll out dough until 1/2" thick. Fold in half and place on waxed paper, fold paper over and roll dough up inside to form a 2" x 12" log. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until solid, about 45 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice into 1/4" rounds and bake 18 minutes.
- Butter Cookie Jam Tartlets: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. For topping, knead 1/4 of the Butter Cookie Dough (above) with 1/2 cup coarsely ground toasted blanched almonds. Divide remaining dough into 24 pieces. Press each into bottom and 1/2" up the sides of muffin-pan cups. Place 1 teaspoon each raspberry and apricot preserves in each. Crumble topping over tarts. Bake 20 minutes, cool in pans.
- For Cutouts: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4". Cut out dog and cat cookies with cookie cutters. For people, using a large gingerbread girl cookie cutter, cut out cookies, trimming edges to thin figures. Cut out center of dough to form legs. Make hair by pressing dough through garlic press and pressing strands onto head of cookie. Place on greased baking sheets and bend arms and legs. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned on edges. Remove to wire rack and cool completely. Decorate with icing paints and candies.
- Cookie Icing Paints: Beat 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoons powdered egg white, 2 tablespoons water until blended. Divide into four small bowls and color using paste food coloring. If paints are too thick for painting, thin by adding one drop at a time.