Yield: about 18 cookies Prep time: 15 minutes Bake time: 7 - 10 minutes
1 cup white sugar
1 cup unsalted softened butter
1 – 3 ounce package of softened cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons half and half
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, vanilla and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until blended, but do not over beat. Chill the dough for several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
On a lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough to about 1/4 to 1/8″ thickness. It helps to divide the dough into two and keep one in the fridge while you are working with the other. I like a thicker cookie, so I go with the 1/4″ inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, or if going to frost or fill them, cut into 2 or 3″ circles. Place an inch apart on a Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. They should be lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool completely before frosting or filling.
While the cookies are cooling, make the buttercream:
In your stand mixer, place the butter and confectioners sugar. Add the vanilla and slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the half and half until you get a nice spreadable consistency.