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Red Velvet Cookies

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Ingredients:

FOR COOKIES: – 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted California butter – 1 cup packed light brown sugar – 1 cup packed dark brown sugar – 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk – 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract – 2 1/2 cups sifted pastry flour, or 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour – 1/2 cup sifted cake flour (sift before measuring) – 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder – 1/2 teaspoon salt – 1/2 teaspoon baking soda – 1 tablespoon red food coloring (such as McCormick) FOR ICING: – 4 ounces California cream cheese, at room temperature – 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted California butter, at room temperature – 2 cups sifted powdered sugar (sift before measuring) – 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

Directions:

MAKE COOKIES

1. Mix wets: Place butter in a saucepan and set over low heat until just half is melted. Cool for 5 minutes.

2. Pour cooled butter into a large bowl. Add both sugars and whisk to combine. Whisk in egg and yolk, one at a time, and then whisk in vanilla. Set aside.

3. Mix dries: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.

4. Add dries, one third at a time, to wets, mixing with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Add food coloring. Mix until color is uniform.

5. Wrap bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 325°F, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment paper.

7. Form dough into balls about the size of whole walnuts and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are light brown and centers are still wet—don’t overbake.

9. Immediately transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Let cool for 1 hour before icing.

Meanwhile, make icing.

10. Using a stand or hand mixer on medium-high, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar, starting on low speed, then working up to high speed. Add vanilla.

11. Using a pastry bag or a zip-top bag with one corner snipped, ice cooled cookies in the pattern of your liking and serve.

Per Order:

Makes: 20 to 24 cookies | Active time: 20 to 25 minutes

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