Day 9 – Walnut Cream Cheese
Cream cheese gives this Martha Stewart cookie recipe it\’s smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture, but what I really love about it is I can make a batch and freeze the logs ahead of time. Handy when you need a quick last-minute plate of fresh cookies.
Makes about 4 dozen
4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups walnut halves (1-1/2 cups toasted and coarsely chopped and 1 cup finely chopped)
Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and mix until just combined (do not overmix). Mix in toasted walnuts.
Transfer dough to a work surface. Divide in half; shape each half into an 8 1/2-inch long log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in parchment paper; freeze until firm, about 30 minutes or up to 2 weeks.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Unwrap 1 log, and roll in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, coating completely. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake cookies, rotating halfway through, until golden around edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Repeat with remaining log and remaining 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.