This is yet another “non-Practical” recipe from America's Test Kitchen. Kinda fussy, a bit more time consuming than I like, and you do have to dirty up half the kitchen to pull them off, but it, like all the recipes I get from ATK, turns out a really good product, and for special occasions or for special people in your life, they're well worth the time and effort.
2 ¼ cups unbleached, all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar; plus 1/3rd cup for rolling the dough in before baking
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3rd cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place 1 ½ cups sugar and the cream cheese in a large bowl. Place remaining 1/3rd cup sugar in a pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine. Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk and vanilla, continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each. Using hands, roll each piece into a ball. Roll each ball in the reserved sugar to coat, and then place evenly on the baking sheets. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten each one until they are about 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the top of each flattened piece with more sugar from the pie plate.
Bake, one tray at a time, until edges are just beginning to brown; 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the 7 minute mark. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes; then transfer them to wire racks so the cookies can cool to room temperature. Or put French Vanilla ice cream on them while they're still hot and eat them all. Or add a teaspoon of strawberry preserves to each one and eat them before you have to share them with anyone.