I baked these again today, but changed things up a bit.
Instead of the combination of extracts listed above, I used 1 tablespoon each vanilla extract, lemon extract, and orange extract plus 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract. The finished cookies have a much stronger citrus flavor that compliments the cream cheese without over-powering it, the subtle vanilla and almond adding to the sweetness of the cookie without making it cloying.
Also, instead of smooshing the cookies out, I rolled them into balls and then baked them. They did not stay in perfect balls as Wedding cookies do, because of the egg and baking powder in the dough. Instead they puff up and out just enough to cause the tops to crack slightly, the baked cookie thus has an appearance almost like a puff-ball mushroom that I find very appealing. This also changed the texture some, making it a little more cakey than if the dough had been flattened and the inner part of the cookie stays soft and moist--almost doughy, but not quite, definitely fully-baked.
All-in-all, I have to say I really like these changes, although the cookies are delicious when cooked according to the original instructions as well.
I also wanted to let everyone know that if you like, this dough would lend itself to being rolled into "ropes" and then braided or twisted and then formed to make wreathes or hearts or candy canes.
Some of y'all have inquired about using these for rolled cut-out cookies. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm fairly certain that it will work. If you are using the dough for rolled cut-out cookies, make sure you use 32 oz of powdered sugar by weight, not volume and leave out the baking powder. If the dough seems too sticky, add a little flour (1/4 cup) at a time until it is the right consistency for rolling, but be careful as you don't want it too dry and crumbly. The baking temp/time may also need to be adjusted. I will try to make rolled cut-out cookies with this dough sometime before the Christmas baking season gets under way.
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