Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Buttercream

Some of you may know that my fiance, Brad and I are currently our third (and final!) year of our long distance relationship. We live about 9 hours apart right now, which means we almost never get to spend our birthdays, our anniversary, or Valentine’s day together. Since we won’t be together, I always try to sent him a little treat in the mail to let him know that I’m thinking of him. For Valentine’s day, nothing is more festive than heart shaped sugar cookies. I know most people swear by royal icing for their sugar cookies, but lets face it – it’s not that tasty. Considering Brad could care less about how they look, I choose to top these cookies with some basic cream cheese buttercream and sprinkles. I think they turned out pretty cute, and delicious as well!

Sugar Cookies
Yields: About 4 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the creamed mixture until dough comes together.

On a floured surface, roll the cookie dough out using a rolling pin. Use a cookie cutter to cut into your desired shape. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottom is light brown. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Source: AllRecipes.com

Cream Cheese Buttercream Icing
Yields: About 3 cups 

Ingredients:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Place cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until creamy, about 30 seconds.

With the mixer on low, slowly add sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowls as necessary.

Add vanilla and increase mixer speed to medium. Blend until frosting is fluffy, about 1 minute.

Source: Martha Stewart

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