Perfectly soft sugar cookies topped with luscious cream cheese frosting just begging for sprinkles!
You guys. These are it. Gone are the days of crispy + crunchy sugar cookies. Because in my personal opinion, if it ain’t soft, it’s just not right.
My other issue with sugar cookies is the icing. I totally love the look of royal icing [aka the kind that is thin then hardens beautifully], but it just doesn’t do as much for my taste buds. Cream cheese frosting, on the other hand. That makes my heart sing.
So while it’s trickier to make cream cheese frosting look as perfect as royal icing — what you sacrifice in appearance, we 100% make up for in flavor! Cream cheese based sugar cookie recipes has been a staple in my family every holiday season, and I’ve finally combined some of my favorite aspects of different recipes into my own holy grail!
A couple things to note about the recipe before we dive in. First, there’s several ingredients that need to be room temperature before we start. Especially for the icing. However. I know that life gets in the way sometimes, so we don’t always have the time [read: patience, in my case], to wait for it to warm up on the counter.
I’ve had success beating cold cream cheese really fast for several minutes then adding softened butter [via the microwave] and continue to beat on high until totally incorporated. It’s not the ideal scenario, but it can be done in a pinch! Room temperature ingredients are required for the frosting though, no way around that one!
Second, almond extract is a must! I learned this tip from the lovely Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction. It completely takes the flavor of these cookies over the top. It may or may not be an ingredient you already have in your pantry, but it’s worth a quick trip to the store for this recipe!
Third, this recipes makes a good bit of dough, but the number of cookies totally depends on the size of your cookie cutters. As does the baking time. If you have small or thinner shapes, you’ll need to watch carefully + cut back on the baking time. Same goes for larger or thicker sizes: keep them in the oven a bit longer.
Lastly, this dough is great to make ahead! You can chill it in the fridge for about 3 days or freeze it for weeks. You can move it from the freezer to the fridge the night before for it to thaw before baking.
I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do. I wouldn’t titled them the best if I didn’t truly believe it, after all!