Iced Vanilla Bean Cut Out Cookies (THM S)
Everyone loves a classic sugar cookie, especially around the holidays. Stamping out and decorating cookies with my kiddos is one of my favorite things about the holidays.
This was my first holiday season as a full-fledged Trim Healthy Mama. Last year, I attempted a few on-plan treats, but the vast majority of my holiday goodies were done the old-fashioned way. This year, I was determined to get through the season while staying on plan, and enjoying some sweets along the way.
I admit, I was a little scared to attempt a cut-out cookie. However, I'm happy to report that this recipe turned out wonderful on the very first try. It also has fairly simple ingredients, that you likely have in your pantry.
The base of these cookies is butter, almond flour, and coconut flour. I used both almond extract and vanilla bean paste for a rich flavor. If you don't enjoy almond extract, it's not a *lot*, so you won't really taste it. You can also leave it out if you choose. What gives these cookies a deep vanilla flavor, is vanilla bean paste. It has the deep flavor of vanilla beans, minus the work of de-seeding the pods. I find the paste at Walmart, in the cake decorating section (where pastry bags, tips, and similar tools would be found). If you don't have it, you can replace with vanilla beans from a pod or extra vanilla extract.
The key is to chill the dough for as long as possible prior to cutting and baking. You'll want to chill it for a minimum of two hours to overnight (I opted for overnight). Once you're ready to cut, make quick work out of rolling and cutting the dough. If you re-roll the excess dough, handle it very lightly so that you don't warm it too much.
These cookies hold their shape perfectly don't spread much (if at all). They have a soft, buttery texture while being able to withstand icing and decorations. Basically, the perfect "sugar" cookie.
I kept the frosting fairly simple: just 4oz cream cheese, 2 Tbsp soft unsalted butter, 2 Tbsp heavy cream, vanilla, and sweetener to taste. Whip it all together until light and fluffy. You can add food coloring if you wish. I also dyed some erythritol with a few drops of red food coloring.
A very yummy snowflake, if I do say so myself.