Normally, I’m not a sugar cookie person. Most sugar cookies are sweet but don’t have much flavor; they’re at the party because they look pretty when decorated. This recipe, however, is for sugar cookies that are both decoration-worthy and delicious. Made with a heaping helping of cream cheese, they are soft and tangy, but still hold up to whatever decorations you might care to add.Jump to Recipe
Making this recipe is one of my favorite Christmas traditions, but it doesn’t have to be confined to the winter holiday season. I’ve made them for Easter, for birthdays, for baby showers, for bachelorette parties….really, for any celebration where you would like a pretty and portable dessert. Following is the recipe for the cookie base. If you would like to see what I use for icing, click here.
Start by creaming together the softened butter and cream cheese. Once these two are completely combined, add the sugar and vanilla. Mix these thoroughly, until the batter is smooth, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl.
Mix in your flour and salt. Once the ingredients are completely combined, form the dough into a ball and cover tightly with plastic wrap (or your favorite eco-friendly alternative) and place in the refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for at least 1 hour; I often leave mine in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready for baking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Take 1/3 of your dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface, until it is 1/8″ thick. (Err on the side of thicker cookies, though realize if they are too thick, they will require extra time in the oven. If the dough is transparent, you have rolled them too thin.)
Using your favorite cookie cutters (or the top of a drinking glass), cut out shapes until you have used all of the dough. There will be extra bits left over in between the cookies; this can be rolled out again, in combination with the dough that remains in the fridge, to make more cookies. Repeat this process until all of your cookies have been cut out.
Transfer your cut-out shapes onto a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Once they are baked, allow to cool completely before icing.
If you’d like to see the very simple “border and flood’ icing recipes I use every year, follow this link. Regardless of what icing you use, these cookies are sure to be a hit at your next holiday celebration!
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
- Cookie cutters
- 2 eight-ounce blocks cream cheese (16 oz. total)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup total)
- 1 ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Using a mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese. Once combined, add sugar and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
- Add salt and flour, mixing in one cup of flour at a time.
- Once dough is formed, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate – at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- After dough has been chilled, roll it out into a generous 1/8" thick layer and cut into your favorite shapes. Place shaped cookies onto a greased or parchment-covered baking sheet.
- Bake cookies at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.
- Wait until cookies are completely cool before frosting with your favorite icing.