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Apple Butter Sugar Cookies

Apple Butter Cookie Dough
From The South Padre Island Flip Flop Foodie - Adapted from Ann Clark, Ltd



3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup apple butter (I used Musselman's)
1 egg yolk (room temperature)
1/2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
1 cup white whole wheat flour (I used Gold Medal)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder


Cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.

Beat in apple butter, egg yolk, and vanilla bean paste.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.  Add to wet mixture just until all ingredients are well blended.  Take care not to over mix.

Wrap in plastic wrap (I divided mine in quarters and formed into small rectangles for easier handling).

Chill for 4 hours or overnight before rolling out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll dough out on a lightly floured counter to 1/4 to 3/8 inch thickness.  Keep the dough moving, lift to ensure it is not sticking to the counter.  Sprinkle more flour if needed.  Make sure your rolling pin stays floured as well.  This was a sticky dough when it got warm - hence the easier handling with small portions. 

Cut the rolled dough with well-floured cookie cutters.  Metal works best!  Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (I use the Silpat mats).  If my cookies were difficult to move, I floured my thinnest metal spatula and lifted gently to help transfer them.  I refrigerated each tray while another was baking so they wouldn't spread.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and rest in pan on cooling rack.  As soon as they are there, get out your trusty fondant smoother and gently glide it over every cookie.  This will remove any bubbles or plumped up areas - resulting in a nicely flat cookie.  Don't press, sort of like you are ironing something delicate.  Remove to rack to cool once cookies are cool enough to handle.  Allow to cool completely before decorating.