- 1 package (17.5 ounces) sugar cookie mix (recommended: Betty Crocker)
- 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened in microwave for 45 seconds
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 3 tablespoons cake flour
- 8 ounces hard candies, assorted colors (recommended: Jolly Ranchers or LifeSavers)
- Baking sheets
- Aluminum foil and cooking spray
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Oversized (4 to 5-inch) ornament-shaped cookie cutter
- Smaller cutters, round or square
- Cooling rack
Line baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Alternatively, you can use a silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients, except hard candies, until dough ball forms. Split dough in half and form into disks.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out cookies with oversized (4 to 5-inch) ornament-shaped cookie cutters. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets spaced 1-inch apart. On each of the large cookies, cut out 3 or 4 smaller shapes using 1/2 to 1-inch cookie cutters. If cookies are to be used as ornaments, make a hole at the top with a straw. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
While cookies chill, place unwrapped hard candies, sorted by color, in separate zip-top resealable bags. Squeeze air from bags and seal; crush candies with rolling pin. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove cookies from refrigerator and fill centers of cookies with
crushed hard candies.
Bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until edges just start to turn golden. Cool completely on baking sheet on a rack.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Store completely cooled cookies separated by waxed paper in an air-tight container for 1 week.