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LAist Cookie Exchange: Festive Sugar Cookies

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Making these cookies is one of my fondest Christmas traditions. This would lead you to believe that I am a total sugar-holic (which I am), but I mostly enjoy flexing my artistic muscle to decorate these bad boys. We have about 50 different cookie cutters, 6 colors of icing, and decorations galore. It’s always fun to make the standard snowman, but after 2 hours of baking you start to get creative. Dinosaurs, shoes, cars… you name it, we make it. I believe my mom pulled this recipe from a magazine in the 80’s, but it’s still just as delicious today.

Festive Sugar Cookies

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon coconut flavoring (optional)

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1. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
2. In a large mixer bowl beat butter or margarine and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.
3. Add sugar; beat until fluffy.
4. Add egg, vanilla, almond extract, and coconut flavoring (optional); beat well.
5. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
6. Divide dough into thirds (about 2 cups each). Cover and chill overnight. Or, place in moisture and vapor proof plastic bags. Seal, label and freeze up to 3 months.
7. Roll out one third of dough at a time on a generously floured surface, and with a rolling pin, smooth out to a round piece about 1/4 inch thick, and then use cookie cutters to make your favorite holiday shapes.
8. Put each shape on a non-stick cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
9. When somewhat cooled, remove from cookie sheet, place on wax paper til further cooled, and then ice with canned or your own homemade frosting. Then decorate with sprinkles or sugars to complete.

Photo by scottfidd via Flickr