Evanescent Sugar Cookies
1 c. sugar
1 c. butter
3.5* oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 c. flour
* 1 ounce of cream cheese = 1 tablespoon. Anywhere from 3 to 4 ounces works fine; the cookies come out a bit denser and softer with more.
Preheat oven to 375.
Beat together everything but the flour. Mix in the flour.
If you love rolling out sugar cookies and cutting them into cute shapes for decorating, wrap the dough in plastic and put it in the refrigerator for 8+ hours. Then roll it out on a floured surface and cut with a floured cookie cutter. You will probably need to use a lot of extra flour; this is not a very good dough for making shaped cookies.
If you do not love cutting sugar cookies, and I do not, you can skip the "chill dough" stage and just make little balls of dough with your hands that you flatten with your palm against a cookie sheet. Flatten to about cookie-height -- a quarter inch or so is good. Leave a little space between cookies on the sheet , but you don't need to leave much -- the cookies only spread a little.
Bake for about 8 minutes. This is the crucial part! How long you bake them determines their texture -- longer and they'll be dry and crispy, less and they'll be gooey, just right and they'll be melt-in-your-mouth creamy. Exactly how long you want to bake them depends on how you like them and your oven, so you may want to experiment with small batches. I recommend no less than 6 minutes and no more than 11. If you use an airbake cookie sheet, they will not brown (unless you overbake them). On a regular cookie sheet, the bottoms may brown a bit.
Let cool couple of minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way. (This is not terribly crucial but seems to improve the texture a bit).
Top with your favorite icing or eat plain. I always ice them with whatever random icing recipe Google can find for me that I happen to have all the ingrediants for handy. Or I make some concotion using butter+cream+powdered sugar+vanilla. I've never actually found an icing recipe I really like, so I have no loyalty to one. Maybe someday.
Now I feel like there's no point in me baking these to mail any more, since everyone will know my secret now ... c.c