"These pretty cookies look fancy, but they are really not much work," assures Helen McGibbon from Downers Grove, Illinois. "They're perfect for any occasion."
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and chopped
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
- In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and extract until smooth. Fold in cherries. On a floured surface, roll each portion of dough into a 10-in. square. With a sharp knife or pastry wheel, cut into 2-1/2-in. squares. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Make 1-in. cuts from each corner toward the center of the dough.
- Drop teaspoonfuls of filling in the center of each square; sprinkle with almonds. Fold alternating points to the center to form a windmill; moisten points with water and pinch gently at center to seal. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 32 cookies.
Originally published as Cherry Cheese Windmills in Taste of Home June/July 2003, p52
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