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Pink Sugar Cookies (Colored with Beets)

Sugar Cookies (with Beet Puree)

(Yield depends on size of cookie cutter used*)


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons pureed beet (or substitute red food coloring)

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Turn off mixer.  Add egg and beat on low speed for about one minute.  Then add the beet puree, one tablespoon at a time with mixer on medium speed, until desired color is reached.  (The dough will become more pinkish (and less red) after the flour is added...keep that in mind.)


Add milk and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well combined.  Then add the flour mixture.  Mix on low speed just until combined.  (Don't overmix.)


Lay out a two large sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap on a work surface.  Divide the dough in half, placing each half on one of the sheets of paper/wrap.  Form dough into flat discs (about 6-8 inches across and 1 inch thick) and cover well with the paper/wrap.  Refrigerate dough for at least an hour (or freeze for 30 minutes). 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8th-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shape and quickly transfer to baking sheets, leaving an inch between the cookies.  Place baking sheet in freezer for about 5 minutes to harden the cookies before baking.  


Bake cookies until puffed and lightly golden on the edges (about 10 minutes, depending on size of cookie cutter used).  Do not allow to brown.


Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  


Cream Cheese Filling 

(Makes about 1-1/4 cups)


1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, slightly softened (not hard as a rock but not melt-y, either)

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, slightly softened

1/4 cup honey

 

Blend ingredients using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.  Refrigerate if too soft and then beat again. 


Assembly:

To assemble, sandwich flat sides of cookies together with a generous teaspoon or tablespoon of cream cheese filling in between.  (Amount of filling depends on size of cookie.*)


(Sorry to be ambiguous about the yield of this recipe.  I used a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter and ended up with around 3 dozen cookies.  I placed about two teaspoons of filling to make the "sandwiches".  The yield depends on the size of the cookie cutter.)


(Sugar cookie dough recipe (sans beets) adapted from MarthaStewart.com)
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