Amazingly soft, thick and chewy sugar cookies!
I have been making the same sugar cookie recipe for as long as I can remember – My grandmother’s “Travel Cookie” aka: Sugar Cookies have been a tradition in our family for well over 50 years. I love them so much…
…however, sometimes in life it’s nice to have options! I’ve heard about adding cream cheese to sugar cookies, but hadn’t tried it myself. I know cream cheese is delicious in pound cake! So, I played around with Grandma’s recipe… (waiting for lighting to strike…)
Well, let me say, I love them both!! (happens on The Bachelor, right?) These Soft Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies are thick, soft, chewy and have just enough tang from the cream cheese to offset some of the sweetness in the cookie and the buttercream frosting. That’s right, B-u-t-t-e-r-c-r-e-a-m F-r-o-s-t-i-n-g!! Grandma’s cookies have a thinner, still very delicious, icing – but these have thick, buttery frosting!! The kind you can really sink your teeth into.
It’s so satisfying to swirl the smooth, creamy buttercream frosting onto the thick, soft cookies…and even more satisfying to take a bite, maybe even take a bite at breakfast with a steaming hot mug of coffee. Not that I would know what that’s like – just saying. ( :
NEW – Soft Cream Cheese SUGAR COOKIE BARS!
Need an even easier and quicker version of these delicious cookies! I made a bar cookie version! Soft Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Bars
VIDEO: How to Frost Sugar Cookies:
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Soft Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (305 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt I use coarse kosher salt, if using table salt, you may want to use a little less.
- 1/2 cup (1-stick) butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar plus extra for forming cookies
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1-stick) butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- food coloring & sprinkles if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment. (see notes below)
- In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
- (I use my stand mixer with flex edge beater to mix these up, you could also use a hand mixer with (regular) turbo beaters to mix them as well.)
- In large bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar. This will take several minutes - it should be fluffy and lighter in color. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Chill dough in refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1-hour, this helps make the sticky dough a little easier to work with. You can chill overnight, but you'll need to let it sit out for about 20 minutes before scooping and rolling as it will be very firm.
- Scoop 2-tablespoon portions of dough and roll into balls.
- Place the balls 2-inches apart on greased or parchment lined baking sheets. (I use the shiny half-sheet pans)
- Butter the bottom of a flat-bottomed drinking glass. Spread some sugar on a small plate.
- Dip the buttered glass in the sugar and use to press down on the cookie balls.
- Hold the glass level and press until the cookie is a little thicker than a 1/4-inch. Repeat until all the balls are flattened.
- Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are just golden on the bottom. Time may vary depending on oven.
- Let cool on baking sheet 1-minute before removing to cooling rack.
- In large bowl, beat together butter, vanilla, 2 cups of powdered sugar and a tablespoon milk until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add the rest of the sugar and as much milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Use food coloring to color the frosting if desired.
- Frost the cookies and add sprinkles if desired. After frosting, let the cookies sit out for an hour or two and the frosting will firm up a little bit on the top.
- Then you can store for up to 3 days in an airtight container or freeze. Layer them between sheets of waxed or parchment paper to help protect the frosting from smushing.
Cookie Baking Tips:
- I use shiny metal cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
- If you use darker colored cookie sheets you may want to drop your oven temperature by 25 degrees. Darker baking pans get hotter.
- Ovens are often not accurate in their temperature.
- I always keep an inexpensive oven thermometer in my oven to make sure it reaches the correct temperature.
- Cookie scoops are handy for portioning the cookie dough for even cookies.
- For 2 1/2-inch diameter cookies, I made each dough ball using 2-tablespoons dough and flattened them to about a 2-inch diameter.
- I bake my cookies 1 tray at a time and make sure the cookie sheet is cool each time.
- It's helpful to have several cookie sheets you can rotate.
- If using salted butter in cookie dough - reduce added salt to 1/4 teaspoon.