Glazed Butter Cookies (For Halloween!)

from: The New Best Recipe
makes about 38 cookies

Cookie Dough
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ superfine sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 16 pieces
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon cream cheese, at room temperature
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

In the bowl on an electric mixer, mix the flour, sugar and salt at low speed until combined. With the mixer on low, add the butter, one piece at a time; continue to mix until the mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer. Add the vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until the dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.

Knead the dough by hand in the bowl for 2 or 3 to form a large, cohesive mass. Turn the dough out onto the countertop; divide it in half, pat each into a 4” disk, wrap the disks in plastic, and refrigerate until they begin to firm up, 20-30 minutes. (the disks can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks; defrost in the refrigerator before using.)

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; heat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out 1 dough disk to an even 1/8” thickness between 2 large sheets of parchment paper; slide the rolled dough, still on the parchment, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat with the second disk.

Working with the first portion of dough, cut into desired shapes and place the shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Space them 1 ½ inches apart. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The dough scraps can be patted together, chilled, and re-rolled. Cool the cookies to room temperature on a wire rack.

For the glaze-Whisk the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of the milk in a bowl until combined and no lumps remains. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar until smooth, adding the remaining milk as needed until the glaze is thin enough to spread easily. Divide the glaze into separate bowls if you would like to add coloring. Spread the glaze on the cookies using a small offset spatula and let the creativity begin.

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