If chewy, thick and soft cookies are your sugar cookie goals, this Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies will amaze you with its amazing texture and flavors!
I am so not ready to say good bye to fall desserts, collecting colorful leaves, autumn spices. Also to going on hikes and making pumpkin pancakes every single weekend. 🙁
And it's almost time to take those winter jackets out (duh! I'm not a fan of wearing puffy jackets)!
Oh but baking iced sugar cookies? Also, Gingerbread cookies??? OMG! and drinking Peppermint Mocha!
Suddenly I am all excited!!!
Okay, lets talk more about making cookies! If you appreciate an easy sugar cookie recipe that bakes soft and thick, you've come to the right place.
Did you know cookies made with cream cheese bake extra soft and so creamy. You'd ask, why is that? That is because of the moisture content in cream cheese. Talking about soft cookies, these sugar cookies stay soft for days. You are so going to love them!
cream cheese cookies ingredients:
- Butter: We will use unsalted and room temperature butter for this recipe. If you are using salted butter, reduce the amount of salt in the cookie dough.
- Cream Cheese: Also room temperature. This makes it so easy for the butter to combine with cheese and form a uniform dough. Also, you will beat the chances of getting a curdled cream cheese!
- Sugar: Granulated sugar works best for this sugar cookie recipe.
- Egg: Now many of my recipes use half of an egg, since they are small batch recipes. To measure it- lightly whisk an egg, measure and add 2 tablespoons of egg in this cookie dough.
- Cake Flour: Sift your cake flour over wet ingredients to produce thick and uniform cookies.
- Leavener: ¼ teaspoon of baking powder to help cookies rise.
- Vanilla and Salt: For that big vanilla flavor.
- Almond Extract: Now I wouldn't say this is optional. As almond extract brings out such a brilliant flavor to your cookies. Try it!
- Sprinkles: We will coat cookie dough balls in sprinkles before baking them!
How do you make these cookies:
These are such simple drop style cookies. Meaning? You don't need to roll out the cookie dough or cut it with cookie cutters! Lets have a look into how we are making them-
- STEP 1. Cream wet ingredients together: We begin with beating, butter and room temp cream cheese for a min or so. Add sugar and beat again. Next goes in egg and vanilla.
- STEP 2. Fold dry ingredients into wet: Add dry ingredients on wet and fold to combine.
- STEP 3. Chilling the dough/dough balls: You don't need to over chill this cookie dough. About 1.5- 2 hours is just good enough. Cover and chill dough for of 2 hours max. For the ease of making cookies, I like to form cookie dough balls (and cover them in non-pareils) before chilling them. That way you don't need to wait around for the dough to soften again for rolling into balls.
- STEP 4. Form 1-1.5 inch balls, roll in non-pareils sprinkles, chill and bake!
- STEP 5. Enjoy one straight outta oven! Oh but let it cool down a bit. 😉
Tips to make perfect Sugar Cookies:
- Always add cake flour to your cookies to make them soft and tender. The cornstarch present in cake flour helps to tenderize the dough creating soft-creamy cookies.
- Use room temperature ingredients- cream cheese, butter and egg. It's essential to mix ingredients well in your dough to make uniform and well structured cookies.
- Do not over-measure flour as it can lead to crumbly and dry cookies.
- Chill that dough to get thick cookies and a better flavor profile.
You can customize these cookies any way you wish to and bake them all year around!
- Nuts: Toss chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds or even dried berries in the dough. Fold them in the cookie dough before chilling it.
- Sprinkles: Instead of using Christmas non-pareils, go for rainbow pastels or patriotic colored non pareils for other holiday celebrations.
- Sparkling Sugar: How fun would it be to coat cookies in sparkling red green and gold/silver sparkles. Coat sugar just as you would coat sprinkles on cookies, place on baking trays and bake as usual.
- More add ins: You can even fold chocolate chips, caramel chips or butterscotch chips in the dough. Even m&m candy or mint chocolate chips would be so good here! I would add ¾ cups of add ins for 18 cookies.
- Skip those Sprinkles: If you don't like sprinkles in/on your cookies, you may roll them in powdered sugar after baking. Or go for an icing such royal icing, powdered sugar icing, or buttercream icing. Go crazy and top them with your favorite cookie glaze. Up to you!
- Extracts: Now I like vanilla flavor in my cookies, so I wouldn't suggest skipping it! But if you aren't a fan of almond extract, you may try lemon extract, banana extract, coconut extract or even peppermint extract in place of almond. If you wish to give these cookies just vanilla flavor, skip almond extract out of recipe and add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in the dough.
Frequently Asked Questions about these cookies:
You can keep the cookies fresh covered tightly at room temperature for 2-4 days. For longer storage, cookies made with cream cheese need to be stored in refrigerator.
I wouldn't suggest substituting all the fat with cream cheese here. Butter gives a rich structure to these cookies. Eliminating butter entirely from dough will result in extra puffy and non-uniform cookies.
Both baked and unbaked cookies made with cream cheese can be frozen.
To freeze unbaked cookie balls, place them on a lined baking tray and freeze until very firm to touch. Then freeze them in ziploc bags.
No need to thaw before baking, just add a min or two to baking time.
More Christmas Baking Inspiration for you:
Easy and the prettiest Mint swirled Chocolate Bark
Best Monkey Bread Recipe that you'll ever make!
Flavor packed Cranberry Orange Crumb Cake
Giant Strawberry Cookie dotted with chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
- 1 Hand/stand Mixer
- ½ Cup (1 stick) Butter (Unsalted, room temp)
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese (full fat brick, room temp)
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 large Egg (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 ¾ Cups Cake Flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Sprinkles (I used Christmas non-pareils)
- Beat softened butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes at high speed in a large mixing bowl, using a hand held or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
- Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Beat in egg till combined. Pour in both extracts and beat them in too. Scrape down the bottom and sides of mixing bowl as needed.
- Sift all the dry ingredients (cake flour, baking powder and salt) over wet and mix on low speed till cookie dough forms. Roll into 18 balls and coat each into sprinkles. Place them on baking tray.
- Cover and chill for around 1 ½-2 hours (up to 2 days) in fridge. If you choose to chill cookie dough for longer than 2 hours, you need to allow the dough to sit on counter for at least 30 minutes before you can form balls and roll them in sprinkles. It is because the dough would be quite hard when chilled for long.
- This one is a thick dough, So, I generally roll the balls and coat them in non-pareils prior to chilling and bake them straight out of fridge after 2 hours. You can choose between whatever way is more convenient of chilling for you. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 deg F and line 2 cookie trays with parchment paper or silicon mat and set it aside.
- (If rolling the balls after chilling, form 18 balls out of the dough and roll them in sprinkles and coat all the balls.
- Place the dough balls on pre-prepared cookie tray (2 inches apart) and bake for 9-10 minutes. Or till the cookies get golden on the bottom edges.
- Allow to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm or store in an airtight container to enjoy later.