12 Days of Cookies: A Partridge in a Pear Tree

12 Days of Cookies: A Partridge in a Pear Tree
Yield: about 1 dozen Bake 350°F 13 mins to 14 mins


Sugar-Cookie Dough:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) Starburst hard candies
  • Brown decorating icing
  • Soft orange candies (Dots)

Make It

Prepare dough:

1. In large bowl, with mixer on medium, beat butter, cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla 3 minutes. With wooden spoon, stir in flour until mixture is blended and dough forms. Divide dough into two balls, and flatten into disks. Cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

2. Place hard candies in resealable plastic bag and crush into small pieces.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with foil. Between two sheets of wax paper, roll one disk to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove top sheet of wax paper. Invert dough onto prepared baking sheet, and remove wax paper. On sheet of wax paper, trace outline of a bird, and use it as a template. Cut bird-shaped cookies, 1 inch apart. Cut pear-shaped hole in center of bird. Repeat with remaining dough.

4. Bake cookies until firm, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon crushed candies into pear cutouts, filling to same thickness as cookies.

5. Bake cookies 3 to 4 minutes more, or until candies have melted. Cool cookies completely on baking sheets. Using thin metal spatula, carefully remove cookies from foil.

6. Using the brown decorating icing, pipe a dot for bird's eye. Flatten orange chewy candy; cut and shape into beak. Stick to partridge with icing.