These butter cookies are delicious.  Really so so very good.  Simple, yummy, buttery and rich.  All my tasters this week enjoyed immensely – Suzanne, Jamie, Zach, Lauren, Sylvie, Alisa and Greg.  Mike said they were his all time favorite – but thought they could look more enticing.  I happen to like that you don’t expect to be wowed – kind of a nice surprise coming from such a mild looking cookie.  Everyone liked both filled and plain, so up to you – very versatile.  I didn’t mention the cream cheese (in them) because sometimes people get funky about that.  In fact, as Sylvie reads over my shoulder (this second) she cannot believe she ate and liked something with cream cheese in it!  She told me I must delete cream cheese from the title, or it would turn readers off (although this is what drew me to the recipe).  I love cream cheese – in fact, I put both cream cheese and butter on my bagel, so there is no scaring me.  But really – the cheese just adds an extra richness and fuller flavor to the cookies.  These are different from the transcendent butter cookies in that they are very easy to make, take very little time – well, and they taste different too.  They will round out a cookie platter very nicely.  Enjoy!

butta cookies (from Sally Sampson Cookies cookbook):

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temp
4 oz cream cheese (not whipped, half the 8 oz package), room temp
1 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk, room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line sheet pans with parchment.

Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed with paddle attachment until smooth and creamy – about 2-3 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and mix again.

Add the the egg yolk and vanilla and mix until incorporated.  Scrape and mix again.

Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until just incorporated.

Drop by large teaspoon (or more depending on your taste) onto cookie sheet and bake until the edges just brown about 14-16 minutes.  Cool.

If you want to fill the cookies, heat up some jam of your choice, strain (if desired) and let cool for a bit.  Place a small bit of jam on the bottom of one cookie, and then press with the bottom of another cookie.

For cleaner looking cookies, place the dough in the fridge for an hour or so.  Roll dough in little 1/2 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for about the same window of time, but keep checking.  As usual, you can take the leftover dough, roll and freeze and cut and roll into balls whenever you need a fresh butter cookie!

For reference.  Left is a cookie formed from fresh batter.  Middle is a refrigerated dough – that I tried to make look a little free form.  To the right is a refrigerated dough that I rolled into a ball and baked.  Up top – the filled cookies I rolled into balls and flattened a bit with my fingers.  Have fun and experiment.

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