red velvet cookies with cream cheese centers

I am not usually one to make overly cheesy holiday cookies. I am a strong believer that anything with too much red and green dye just cannot be that tasty. I mean don’t get me wrong, I am all for sprinkles and cheer and I love a good n’ festive cookie platter but try as I might, I always find myself on the understated yet elegant Christmas cookie route. Elegance is super boring and overrated. I know.

This brings me to my point which was to profess my love for the best taste combination ever created a.k.a. red velvet anything with cream cheese frosting. What could be better? The best thing ever in BITE SIZE COOKIE FORM.

With holiday cookie time in full effect this cookie is the answer to all most of your problems [those presents are wrapping themselves!] and they are just festive enough to find themselves at home on dessert buffets everywhere.

Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Centers
Makes about 4 dozen

For the cookies:
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring

For the cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment. Whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl beat the butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the food coloring and mix until the color is even and no streaks remain. Working in batches add the flour mixture and stir until incorporated. Roll dough into 1-inch round balls and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Make an indent into each ball using the end of a wooden spoon. Bake for 12 minutes and let cool on a rack.

To make the filling, beat all the ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth and spreadable. Transfer to a pastry bag filled with a small round tip. Pipe the filling into the center of each cooled cookie. Feed to Santa immediately and store the rest in an airtight container.

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Just because I can, I would like to share our holiday card from 1991. This was taken on our vacation to Disneyland a.k.a. what you can guess was my favorite family vacation ever.

I think I may have been the only child who wanted nothing to do with the actual theme park and was perfectly happy spending the entire time picking out neon pencil cases from the gift shop. Can we please go back to the hotel and swim in the pool now? Then watch cable? I want to go home.

Also this picture is one of the many reasons I think people have children – to use them to produce hilarious Christmas cards filled with subtle humor that they will only understand to be funny many years later. Awesome.