Glazed Butter Cookies
(adapted from CI)
2 1/2 cups (12.5 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
3/4 cup (5.25 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened slightly and cut into 16 pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4 oz) powdered sugar
4 tsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer and mix them together at low speed using the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter 1 or 2 pieces at a time. Continue mixing until mixture is crumbly and starts to look like wet sand. Add the vanilla and cream cheese and mix until the dough starts to come together in large clumps. Remove the bowl from mixer and knead the dough in the bowl by hand to form a large mass. Divide the dough into two portions and form into disks. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it about 30 min. (If you chill it too long, let it sit at room temperature until it is firm but gives a little.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Working with one dough disk at a time, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8". Cut the dough into desired shapes and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about an inch apart (they shouldn't spread much). Bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. The dough scraps can be patted together, chilled and re-rolled once.
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to form a thick glaze. Spread the glaze on the cooled cookies with the back of a spoon and add sprinkles if desired. The yield will depend on the size of your cookies.