My little cousin Hannah is participating in a 4-H Christmas cookie competition, so she came over last Saturday and we had a baking day. We put our heads together and came up with these eye-popping green and red sandwich cookies, which I think is a winning recipe no matter the official outcome.
During assembly, Hannah commented ‘they kind of look like macarons except these are waaaay easier to make!’ Never a truer word spoken, my friends.
The dough is much like regular sugar cookie dough except it has the addition of cream cheese. This gives the baked cookies extra sturdiness while keeping things moist on the inside. The cookies have subtle cream cheese flavor, which we all liked.
There are a few steps to making this cookie but they are all easy enough. First, you divide the dough in half and tint each portion with food color. I used Wilton No-Taste Red gel food color and Neon Green for this batch, although Kelly Green is the usual Christmas color and what we used for Hannah’s batch.
Then you portion each color dough into tablespoon-sized pieces and roll into balls between your palms. Hannah was very into the Play Doh-like consistency during this part of the recipe.
Cut each ball in half and stick a green piece onto a red piece. Roll the two-tone dough between your palms and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten a little with the palm of your hand.
Tah-DAH! We’ve got (Christmas) Spirit YES WE DO!
Cream cheese frosting goes in the middle!
We really enjoyed making these from start to finish. Hannah dipped some of her cookies in red and green sanding sugars before baking, so you could certainly do the same.
Making sugar cookies is one seasonal tradition that I can’t let pass by, and I’m so happy to have a special memory attached to this recipe.
Good Luck, Hannah!
YAY! I found out last night, Hannah won a blue ribbon for her cookies!
Congratulations Hannah-Bug! xoxo
Red and Green Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Sandwiches
- 1 cup 226g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup 200ggranulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups 300g all-purpose flour, plus 3-4 tablespoons more
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Red and green gel food color
- 1/2 cup 113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 4 cups 450g confectioners’ sugar
- Milk or cream
- Make the cookies: Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
- In a separate mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour over the creamed mixture and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed and mix again briefly. The dough should be thick and easy to handle (not sticky).
- Divide the dough in half and return one half to the mixing bowl. Add red food color and mix on low speed until combined. If the dough is sticky with the addition of food color, mix in additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it is not sticky. Wash the mixing bowl and dry; add the second portion of dough and add green food color. Mix on low until combined. Add additional flour to the red portion if needed.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Roll each portion of dough into 20 tablespoon-sized balls, so you’ll have 20 green dough balls and 20 red. Cut each ball in half and press the red halves onto the green halves. Roll them between your palms and place the balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly before baking. Cover with sanding sugar or sprinkles, if using.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly puffed and fragrant (the cookies will not brown much). Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack.
- Make the cream filling: Cream the butter and cream cheese together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed. Gradually add milk or cream a little at a time until the mixture thins to piping consistency. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with the end snipped, or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped.
- Pipe the frosting onto one cookie and sandwich with another. Repeat with all cookies.
for the filling, since there is cream cheese in it, does the cookie have to be refrigerated when making them ahead of time?
Hi! I'd refrigerate to be on the safe side, but bring them to room temp before serving.
Congratulations, Hannah! As I was reading your post, Heather, I thought, 'Hm, I wonder about sprinkles'….and then you said Hannah sprinkled some of her cookies with sanding sugar! I'm definitely going to try these–thinking about flavoring the filling w/orange. I'll let you know. I'm always happy to see a post from you in my in-box. Happy Baking!
Hi Kate! I'll have to post some pictures of Hannah's sprinkled cookies. She dipped the red side of dough in red sugar and the green side in green sugar. They sparkled!
Orange sounds lovely with these, I'll have to try that next! xo
Such beautiful cookies and just perfect for Christmas! I love cookies filled with cream cheese ♥
Congrats Hannah! Your green and red sugar cookies are beautiful! Adding the sprinkles sounds like a great idea! 😉
I just made a batch of these and they turned out great! I’m hoping to make another batch, but I won’t need them for a few days or so. Would it be better if I were to keep the cookies and filling separate or to assemble them and then store them? Also would they keep better in the fridge or freezer? Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!
Hi Sarah! So happy you like the cookies!
The cookies are sturdy enough to handle the frosting long-term, so I see no problem with filling them before storing them. I'd recommend the refrigerator for these. They keep well in zip-top bags with the air removed!
I just made these for a work cookie exchange! But I'm a little embarrassed by them. These cookies are more for looks than taste. Though they look pretty, they don't have an "omg I want another" flavor. Plus they're too big to eat comfortably. Tips for non-professional at-home bakers: make smaller dough balls, like 24 of each color instead of 20. And when the recipe says to "flatten slightly before baking," really flatten them! These tips together will create a flatter, more bite-size cookie. Otherwise they'll turn out too tall like mine did. I also think the frosting recipe could… Read more »
Hi Erika, I'm sorry these didn't turn out perfect for you – and embarrassed by them? I cringe. I would like to add for anyone reading comments for insight, that these cookies will come out of the oven (baked) looking pretty much the same way they went in. They'll puff a little but hold their shape. Follow Erika's advice (or the picture of the flattened cookies in this post) and press them down to discs. They are eye-catching and colorful, but taste-wise they are your basic no-frills sugar cookie. Kids especially seem to love them. Thanks for trying the recipe… Read more »
These cookies are so beautiful!! I am going to make them this week. By the way, how did you get that sparkly silver background of your cookies?
Hi! Thank you. 🙂
The sparkly silver background is a metallic fringed wall hanging. It's hard to describe, but it looks like half of a metallic pinata. It is christmas tree shaped, but you can't tell because I've zoomed waaaay in.