My little cousin Hannah is participating in a 4-H Christmas cookie competition, so she came over last Saturday and we had a baking day. We put our heads together and came up with these eye-popping green and red sandwich cookies, which I think is a winning recipe no matter the official outcome.
The dough is much like regular sugar cookie dough except it has the addition of cream cheese. This gives the baked cookies extra sturdiness while keeping things moist on the inside. The cookies have subtle cream cheese flavor, which we all liked.
There are a few steps to making this cookie but they are all easy enough. First, you divide the dough in half and tint each portion with food color. I used Wilton No-Taste Red gel food color and Neon Green for this batch, although Kelly Green is the usual Christmas color and what we used for Hannah’s batch.
Then you portion each color dough into tablespoon-sized pieces and roll into balls between your palms. Hannah was very into the Play Doh-like consistency during this part of the recipe.
Cut each ball in half and stick a green piece onto a red piece. Roll the two-tone dough between your palms and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten a little with the palm of your hand.
Tah-DAH! We’ve got (Christmas) Spirit YES WE DO!
Cream cheese frosting goes in the middle!
We really enjoyed making these from start to finish. Hannah dipped some of her cookies in red and green sanding sugars before baking, so you could certainly do the same.
Making sugar cookies is one seasonal tradition that I can’t let pass by, and I’m so happy to have a special memory attached to this recipe.
Good Luck, Hannah!
YAY! I found out last night, Hannah won a blue ribbon for her cookies!
Congratulations Hannah-Bug! xoxo
Red and Green Cream Cheese
Sugar Cookie Sandwiches
Yields about 20 sandwich cookies
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (200g)granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour, plus 3-4 tablespoons more
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Red and green gel food color
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups (450g) confectioners’ sugar
Milk or cream
Make the cookies: Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
In a separate mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour over the creamed mixture and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed and mix again briefly. The dough should be thick and easy to handle (not sticky).
Divide the dough in half and return one half to the mixing bowl. Add red food color and mix on low speed until combined. If the dough is sticky with the addition of food color, mix in additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it is not sticky. Wash the mixing bowl and dry; add the second portion of dough and add green food color. Mix on low until combined. Add additional flour to the red portion if needed.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Roll each portion of dough into 20 tablespoon-sized balls, so you’ll have 20 green dough balls and 20 red. Cut each ball in half and press the red halves onto the green halves. Roll them between your palms and place the balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly before baking. Cover with sanding sugar or sprinkles, if using.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly puffed and fragrant (the cookies will not brown much). Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack.
Make the cream filling: Cream the butter and cream cheese together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed. Gradually add milk or cream a little at a time until the mixture thins to piping consistency. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with the end snipped, or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped.
Pipe the frosting onto one cookie and sandwich with another. Repeat with all cookies.