Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Cookie # 2 -- Cream Cheese Meltaways

Another cookie that I remember with fondness was made by my mom's friend Laura. I remember one day when I was 7 or 8, I think it was "parent-conference" day at school. I stayed with Laura and her new baby that day while Mom and Dad attended the conferences. What I remember best about that particular visit with Laura was that she let me help her make some sort of cookie that I fell in love with. They were soft and buttery, not too sweet, and seemed to melt in your mouth. I still have no idea what those actual cookies were, but the cookies I am sharing with you today bare a close resemblance.

These cookies are very easy to make and I think I have discovered an extremely versatile gluten-free dough. I am seriously considering, making this dough (minus the sugar) and rolling it out for a pie shell. The first time I made these cookies I simply baked them as rolled tablespoons of dough. Then I realized that the dough did not spread AT ALL... which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. So I took the half-baked cookies out of the oven and flattened them into round shapes with a spoon and finished baking. They were SO warm, buttery, and delicious. But I also thought, these cookies would make wonderful "sugar" cookies of sorts, even though the dough was not like a typical "sugar cookie" dough.

SO when I made them yesterday for our neighborhood cookie swap, I refrigerated the dough slightly and rolled them out and cut out star shapes with cookie cutters. Worked like a charm! They are soft, buttery, and sweet on the inside, and the tips of the stars were delightfully golden and crunchy!

This dough is destined to be a staple cookie/ pie crust dough at my house! I hope you'll try these cookies and let me know what you think! My neighbors loved them! I don't have a single cookie left!! ;-)

Carrie's Cream Cheese Meltaways/ Sugar Cookies
free of gluten & soy
created & shared by carrie forbes of
printer-friendly recipe

4 oz. cream cheese (I used low-fat cream cheese)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
*1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup potato starch (or tapioca flour -- I used potato starch)
1/2 cup white rice four

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Mix flours/starches together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Add to creamed mixture. This will form a very thick dough.

     1. To make small round (button) cookies: Simply drop by teaspoons onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 -14 minutes. The cookies will still be very light in color when finished baking, the bottom edges should just be slightly browned. Watch carefully.

     2. To make sugar cookies: Refrigerate dough for 15-20 minutes. When ready to bake, take dough out of fridge and roll onto a surface that has been dusted with white rice flour. (I used a flexible cutting mat for my rolling surface. ) Dust your rolling pin as well. Roll out cookies and cut out with desired cutters! Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Frost/Ice/Glaze as desired.

*NOTE: I used vanilla flavoring the first batch of meltaways, and I used almond flavoring for the sugar cookies. I preferred the almond flavoring, but the vanilla was good for a very mellow flavoring!

Easy Sugar Cookie Glaze:
  • confectioners sugar
  • milk
  • food coloring
  • flavorings such as almond, orange, or vanilla (optional)
I don't have real measurements for this glaze, but I took about 1/2 -3/4 cup sugar. Added about 1-3 tbsp. milk, added green food coloring in one batch, red food coloring in another batch. Once I mixed the glaze batches to the consistency I wanted, I put them each in ziplock baggies (as if I were piping them for icing), and cut off one tiny corner of the baggies to start decorating when I was ready.

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  1. They look yummy, and I love the glaze on them!
    I'm working on cookies, too. But first, I've got to get to a graduation.

  2. That batman car looks like the cookies I make.

    I am proposing that everyone who loves me send me a cookie in an envelope. It will only cost 41 cents. I don't mind crumbs.

    P.S. I met Melanie yesterday in Indy! She's a dear --we talked about YOU (who is also a dear).
    And she sent me home with cookies because she knows I lack the baking gene.

  3. These look GREAT! :D I may try them. I have tons of cream cheese in my fridge - like 5 blocks of it! Hey, it was on sale and it's the basis for every thing that is good in life! Dipwise anyway! LOL :D I was making snickerdoodles last night and thought of using cream cheese for half the butter! I was afraid to, not so afraid! :D THANKS!

  4. Dianne -- Thanks girl! These are REALLY good cookies!!!

    Cassandra -- I hope the graduation went well! I can't wait to see your cookies!!

    Ginger -- LOL you are too funny!! That is so cool that you got to meet Melanie!!

    Krista! -- I hope you will try them chic!! I think they have become my favorite cookies ever! My neighbor Donna made them yesterday with great success! She was so happy about them!! I can't wait to make them again later this week!

  5. They look so good!
    I love how you decorated them - very Christmassy!

  6. Patricia -- Thanks girl! I love crazy decorating!!

  7. Everyone -- Krista made a great point about cream cheese... I'm starting to think it's a miracle baking product for gluten-free cookies! I think it helps the cookies to retain their shape, retain moisture, and it doesn't spread like butter can with other GF cookies!! Great job!

  8. What a great cookie to put you in the holiday mood! They sound and look delicious!!

  9. Yum. Due to the fact that my 3 year old daughter was making these with me, our measurements were a bit off, they were a little more crumbly than I wished, and thus I left them thicker than desired in order to keep them together...and I accidentally didn't bake them all the way through because they were too thick. And after spreading flour all over the counters and squeezing red sugar all over the tops, we devoured our cookies with glee. She was quite distraught when I told her she couldn't have seconds. Thanks again for a great recipe!

  10. I made the cut out cookies with almond extract and they were great. I'll be making another batch before christmas! Thanks for the recipe

  11. I tried this recipe last year making roll out cookies and thimble cookies. At the time I thought it would make a great tart crust and it does! I made these again a few days ago dividing the dough into 3 (unequal) portions. I made thimble cookies and butter tarts. It makes a fantastic shortbread type tart crust. I fed them to a glutenoid who thought the butter tarts were delicious (and she enjoyed the thimble cookies too). I just used the last of the dough to make mincemeat tarts with a top. This is going to be one of my staple recipes, esp for tart crusts. Thanks!

  12. I made these cookies last night. Very yummy, and rather easy to make. When the dough was cold it wanted to crumble apart until I was able to roll it together. I have never made regular sugar cookies, so have nothing to compare the experience with.

    I don't know how thick they should have been, but they worked out just fine at all the thicknesses I ended up with. One batch let me cut out a dozen heart shaped cookies. I also don't know if they can be overworked. I rolled the scraps out twice. I made two button cookies with the last scraps (those are what we tasted).

  13. These just didn't work out for me but I think it may be the ingredients I subbed in. I have a lot of dietary restrictions so I used Tofutti better than cream cheese and coconut palm sugar instead of the confectioners. I also tried making a lemon glaze with agave nectar and lemon juice. The cookies tasted like lemony play dough.