3/4 - cup butter, softened
1 - 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
3/4 - cup sugar
1/2 - teaspoon baking powder
1/4 - teaspoon salt
1 - egg
1 - teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 - cups all-purpose flour
Small multicolored decorative candies, sprinkles, gumdrops, and assorted colored sugars
In a large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat or stir in flour.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half of dough into a 7-inch-long roll. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill for 4 to 24 hours or until easy to handle.
Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using decorative candies, colored sugars, and/or gumdrops rolled out and cut into festive shapes, decorate the slices to resemble Christmas balls.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. Makes about 56 cookies.
FROM THE TEST KITCHEN
VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS:
Bedeck frosted cookies with candy ornaments crafted from gumdrops. Here are three ideas. Use your imagination to conjure up some more.
Cut a large gumdrop lengthwise into 4 slices. Add a red cinnamon candy along the long flat side of each slice of the gumdrop to form a bell.
Use your fingers or a rolling pin to flatten a gumdrop to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out small shapes using a knife or hors d'oeuvres cutters.
Arrange slices of small green gumdrops around red cinnamon candies to create holly and berries.
NUTRITION FACTS (Decorated Christmas Balls)
Per serving: 64 kcal , 3 g fat (2 g sat. fat , 12 mg chol. , 44 mg sodium , 8 g carb. , 1 g pro.