I have a vice that I’m going to admit right here and now in front of you: I love those majorly-processed soft frosted sugar cookies that you can buy in every “bakery” at major chain stores. I don’t eat a lot of this kind of food because I prefer to go homemade whenever possible, but if these are at any party, work potluck or , I just can’t help myself. I can’t say I’ve ever bought a package of these cookies before, so I wanted to find a way to make a similar but much more delicious version at home.
I found these Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and they sounded like exactly what I was looking for. Cream cheese added to the dough makes them a little softer, plus a touch of almond extract added with the vanilla takes these to the next level. Where are all my almond extract lovers? I adore that stuff.
You do have to plan slightly ahead so the dough can chill for an hour. Chilling the dough helps the flour to be fully absorbed, develop flavors and set the dough so it doesn’t spread all over the baking sheet when the cookies are baking. Roll these babies in a little sparkling sugar for that classic sugar cookie crunch and look and flatten slightly so you don’t have little mounds of cookies instead of actual cookies that look like cookies. I’ve said cookie four times in the last sentence.
These are crowned with luxurious, soft cream cheese frosting and adorned with sprinkles because sugar cookies are really just an excuse for sprinkles, right? I love the crunch of the sprinkles against the soft, creamy cookies. I highly recommend Fancy Sprinkles, my go-to place for the prettiest, most unique sprinkles and sparkly sugars. I used the Rose Gold ones because they are beautiful and have a mixture of textures, shapes and colors. Did I mention they have a monthly sprinkle subscription? All of my dreams have come true.
Make these when you’re on dessert duty for your next potluck and skip the store-bought ones!
Soft cream cheese sugar cookies rolled in crunchy, sparkling sugar and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles!
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (226 grams) butter, at room temperature
- 2 ounces (55 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup sanding or granulated sugar, for rolling
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 4 ounces (110 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups (227 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Sprinkles, if desired
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together on high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl throughout the process.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir together on low speed until just combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before scooping and baking.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Allow the cookie dough to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before scooping to make it easier to work with. Pour the sanding or granulated sugar in a bowl.
- Scoop the dough using a 1-1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop. Roll the dough into smooth balls and run through the sugar, ensuring it fully coats the dough. Return to the baking sheet and, using a heavy glass, press the dough down into a round about 1/2-inch-thick. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top of each cookie round. Bake, one sheet at a time and rotating halfway through the baking time, for 13 to 15 minutes, until the cookies have spread slightly and the edges are very lightly browned. Repeat with the second sheet. Allow the cookies to set up for 5 minutes on the sheet pans before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.
- To make the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and stir together on low speed; once the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and beat just to combine.
- When the cookies are completely cooled, spread the frosting on each cookie and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
Inspiration: Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com