During Spring Break a few weeks ago (don’t ask me why preschoolers need Spring Break, but if it means I don’t have to shuttle my kid to school first thing in the morning, I’ll take it!), I was baking sugar cookies for my kids and I to decorate. I had also just finished a massive batch of strawberry freezer jam. I was also painting my toenails and drinking Diet Coke and playing around on Facebook and generally acting as though I were on Spring Break. As it is with most things in life requiring some creativity, when I was thinking about it the least, I was struck with a moment of cookie inspiration: Sara’s to-die-for sugar cookie dough. Cream cheese. Strawberry jam. And…dare I say it…dark chocolate.
While the dough is chilling, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds (so it’s a little softer than room temperature and easy to spread) and mix in 1/2 tsp. almond extract. Set aside.
After the dough is sufficiently chilly, preheat the oven to 350. Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap or wax paper. You’re going to want two cookie cutter shapes that coordinate or are the same, but one needs to be slightly bigger than the other.
Using the larger cookie cutter, cut through the dough. Re-roll and cut if necessary/desired, but keep in mind that this dough needs to stay as chilled as possible. You’ll need an even number of larger cookies; to make sure you’re on track, you can stack the cut-outs in twos because each cookie is actually comprised of two cut-outs.
Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the cookies are beginning to turn golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack.
While dough is chilling, soften cream cheese in the microwave until it spreads easily. Mix in 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring. Preheat oven to 350.