I mean really...
Can you ever go *wrong* with sugar cookies? Pretty sure there’s not a time of year they don’t work as a dessert that everyone loves!
These cookies are my favorite sugar cookie by far – I love the deeper flavors the brown sugar and cream cheese gives them, and the cream cheese keeps they from getting dry! You can up the flour a bit if your chilling time is limited, so these are my go-to if I don’t have tons of time! Enjoy!
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Note – this is a slightly-modified hand-me-down recipe from my mom. Recipe credit there; I'm not sure where she got it! Paging through other recipes I think it's the most similar to @Sally’sBakingAddiction’s cream cheese cookie recipe, and she has some incredible cookie recipes!
Be sure to have extra flour hand while you’re rolling these out to keep the dough from sticking.
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ cup unsalted butter (or 1 ½ sticks) room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups all-purpose flour (3 ½ if your chilling time is limited), + 1/4 cup or so more for rolling out dough
2 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 425F.
Mix in order given, beating cream cheese and butter together well before adding sugars. Chill 1-2 hours before rolling if time allows; if not add an extra ½ cup of flour to your dough.
Roll out to about ¼ inch thick, and use extra flour when rolling or your dough will stick. I also recommend parchment paper or these silpat mats to keep your cookies from sticking to the baking sheets!
Bake 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges. Cool completely before decorating.
Will keep 2-3 days at room temperature, up to 10 in the fridge, and can be frozen for 2-3 months!
When you’re ready to decorate, you have a lot of options!
I see most cookie decorators using Royal Icing – generally made from pasteurized egg whites, powdered sugar, and a bit of water. It’s shiny, dries well, and looks beautiful – buuut I get weirded out putting raw egg into my icing, so I tend to favor powdered sugar + water glazes.
Here’s a link to Alton Brown’s Royal Icing recipe – and below is the recipe I usually use!
Powdered Sugar Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1- 1 ½ Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
Save and add later – 1-2 drops liquid or gel food color of your choice
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and beat with a whisk until well-combined and no lumps of powdered sugar remain.
See the video for reference – my favorite decorating method is to marble some food color into my icing and then dip my cookies! You can also drizzle to decorate, or you can pipe them – you’ll just want to use royal icing or make the icing a bit thicker – or you can pipe with frosting! Here’s a link to my favorite Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting.