Yield: approximately 3 dozen

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 recipe Royal Icing
Garnish: white sparkling sugar and oyster sugar pearls (see note)
 
1. In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugars, beating at low speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla, beating to combine.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add flour mixture to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, beating at low speed to incorporate. Increase speed to medium, and beat until combined, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.

4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using various-sized snowflake cutters, cut out cookies, rerolling dough only once if necessary. Place on prepared baking sheets.

6. Bake until edges are lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks, and let cool completely.

7. Paint cooled cookies with Royal Icing. Garnish with sparkling sugar and oyster pearls.

Note: Available at craft stores and fancyflours.com.