Surprise Inside Love Letter Sugar Cookies
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour*
- 6 ounces warm water
- 5 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 pounds Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- Red food coloring
- 3 ounces colored chocolate candies
- Rectangle cookie cutter
- Piping bag
- Piping tip #3
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and butter.
- Mix in sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each one. Add vanilla. Mix well.
- In a large bowl mix dry ingredients, then add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and dough comes together. If it seems to not be coming together all the way in the bowl, place it on a flat surface and knead until dough comes together.
- Roll dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness (thicker or thinner depending on your preference).
- Cut out 36 rectangle cookies. Take 12 rectangle cookies and cut another rectangle out of the center.
- Bake on ungreased baking sheet for 14 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Once cookies have completely cooled, prepare Royal Icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water and meringue powder. Mix for 30 seconds. Add in cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds. Pour in powdered sugar.
- Using the paddle attachment on the lowest speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will become thick and creamy.
- To decorate, take 2 solid rectangle cookies and 1 rectangle with the center missing.
- Remove 4 tablespoons icing and tint it red. Leave the rest white. Place a piece of plastic film wrap over the red icing bowl to prevent it from hardening.
- Take 3 cups of white and thin it with water, a teaspoon at a time, stirring until icing is the consistency of thick glue. Place a piece of plastic film wrap over the remaining white icing bowl to prevent it from hardening.
- Fill a piping bag with thinned white icing.
- Place 12 solid base cookies on a flat surface.
- Pipe white icing around the edges of 12 base cookies.
- Stack center cookies (with centers removed) on top of base cookies.
- Fill centers with hard chocolate candies.
- Pipe white icing around the edges of center cookies and top with the 12 top cookies.
- Using the thinned white icing, outline the top rectangles and fill them in. Use toothpicks to spread icing and pop any air bubbles. Let cookies dry 30 minutes.
- Using a #3 tip and thick white icing, pipe outline of an envelope on top of cookies. Let cookies dry 30 minutes.
- Using a #3 tip and red icing, pipe a heart on to the envelopes.
- Let cookies dry uncovered 6-8 hours or overnight.
Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Angie Barrett @BigBearsWife.