Cracked Sugar Cookies

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Back in 2004, I went through a “sugar cookie phase” where I searched for the most perfect recipe  known to mankind.  In September I saw a very interesting article in “Country Living Magazine” about a bakery in New York called “Billy’s“.  Naturally, because my son’s name is Billy, I immediately perked up.  They were bringing New Yorkers homemade, simple, retro-type desserts; you know, the good old fashioned kind that grandma used to make.

Well, Billy’s Bakery became an overnight success, selling 3,000 cupcakes per week for only $1.50 each.  On a whim, I decided to email the owner (Billy Reese) and see if he would share a sugar cookie recipe.  I was looking for the type that don’t need to be rolled out or cut into shapes.  After all, who has time for that while raising 7 kids?  I was so surprised when he responded and sent me his recipe for “Cracked Sugar Cookies”.  Years have gone by since then, the bakery has expanded to 3 locations and Billy sold out to his two partners.  But thanks to Billy, I did find the perfect sugar cookie recipe and now you get to enjoy it too!

My husband actually stopped in once on a business trip to NY and said their treats were very tasty indeed.  So when you go to New York, be sure to check out Billy’s Bakery.  Or you can visit their website.  I hope you enjoy these sugar cookies as much as we do.  They are de-licious!  My son Billy made the batch in the photo and I made the green frosting in honor of St. Patrick’s Day–Enjoy!!

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Cracked Sugar Cookies

  • Cream 2 sticks unsalted butter and 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • Beat in 3 egg yolks (lightly beaten) and 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Sift, and in three parts, add 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Refrigerate batter for 15 minutes before scooping.  Bake at 375 degrees in regular oven for 9-12 minutes.
  • Yields: about 2 1/2 – 3 dozen cookies.

Liz Notes: I rolled my dough into balls about the size of a walnut; they spread out and baked perfectly!  This is a fairly small recipe and works well to double (according to Billy).

Liz’s Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 package cream cheese (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 T milk or cream

Bring butter and cream cheese to room temperature or soften for 15 seconds in the microwave.  Cream until smooth.  Add vanilla and powdered sugar; mix until combined.  Pour milk in a little at a time and beat until you reach desired consistency.

Liz Notes:  If your frosting is too soft, add a little more powdered sugar.  This makes just enough for a thick layer of frosting on one batch of the Cracked Sugar Cookies.  If you double the cookie recipe, just double the frosting too.  Or just put a thinner layer of frosting on each cookie.  Honestly thick or thin frosting doesn’t matter; either way, they still taste amazing!

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