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Surprise Sugar Stars

Come holiday time, Joyce Berry rolls out dozens of these buttery cutout cookies in her Sandpoint, Idaho country kitchen. "The basic sugar cookie recipe is my mother's," she informs, "and I came up with the sweet 'surprise' inside."
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    4 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • ICING:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • Colored sugar, optional


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until easy to handle.
  • On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with 2-in star cookie cutter or the cutter of your choice. Place half of the stars on ungreased baking sheets. Spoon 1-1/2 teaspoonfuls of pie filling into the centers of each. Top with remaining stars. Pinch edges to seal; cut a small slit in top of each cookie.
  • Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
  • For icing, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, extract and enough milk to achieve desired consistence. Spread over cookies. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 131 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.
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