This is a basic recipe that is easy to use in lots of variations... Though not excessively rich or decadent, it is perfectly fine as a simple butter cookie. It's also substantial enough (not so light and buttery that it crumbles easily) that it makes a good base for bar cookies topped with fruit preserves, nuts, caramel, chocolate... You can get creative with it!
2½ C flour
¾ C powdered sugar
1 C butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbls cream cheese
Combine flour and powdered sugar; cut butter into pieces and add, one at a time, until mixture is crumbly and damp. Add vanilla and cream cheese, mixing until incorporated. Divide dough in half; shape each half into a disc. Refrigerate 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°. Roll out dough and cut into shapes...OR, for bar cookies...press into the bottom of a baking dish, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Glaze and/or decorate...OR top with preserves, nuts, chocolate, etc.
1 Tbls cream cheese
2-3 Tbls milk*
1½ C powdered sugar
* Instead of milk, try pineapple juice, lemon juice, orange juice...