Here’s the other version I made of Joy of Cooking’s cream cheese icebox cookies. I must say, I think they’re just about perfect.
Nutmeg Browned Butter Icebox Cookies
Adapted from Cream Cheese icebox Cookies in Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary Edition
Note: Browning butter refers to toasting the milk solids in the butter and driving of the water in the butter. To do this, melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. Swirl it around occasionally. It should take a little while, but eventually as you are swirling you will see that the stuff as the bottom of the pan has begun to turn darker. Once you see this, remove the pan, you don’t want it to burn. You can speed up cooling the butter in the freezer, but take care as it can go from a liquid to an incredibly hard solid quickly.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
11 tablespoons salted butter, browned and cooled back to a solid
3 ounces cream cheese
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2-1 cup chopped pecans or coarse sugar to coat the sides
Mix dry ingredients and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Cream cream cheese, milk, maple syrup, butter, and sugar together in the bowl of a standing mixer, or using a handheld mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fully combined. Add the majority of the flour now if using a stand mixer, and beat on low until just combined. Then stir in the rest of the flour by hand, taking care not to over mix. With a hand-held mixer you probably will have to do more stirring by hand.
Let the dough sit in the fridge for an hour, then remove and shape into a 16 or so inch log. I did this by rolling the dough up in plastic wrap and shaping the dough into a cylinder once in the plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the freezer for about an hour, os the dough is quite firm. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while the dough chills. Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap and press the chopped pecans or sugar into its sides. Cut the dough into about 1/2 inch rounds (maybe slightly less). Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for 8-9 minutes.