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Best-Ever Sugar Cookies

What makes these cookies the best ever? A delicious cream cheese dough flavored with vanilla, almond and a hint of nutmeg that's wonderfully easy to work with. The adorable decorations don't hurt, either! —Christy Hinrichs, Parkville, Missouri
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    4 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ICING:
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons meringue powder
  • Assorted colors of liquid food coloring


  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and extracts. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters.
  • Place 1-in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° until edges begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For icing, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high until soft peaks form, 4 minutes. Cover icing with damp paper towels or plastic wrap between uses.
  • Working quickly, spread or pipe icing over cookies; let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Use small new paintbrushes or toothpicks and food coloring to make designs on the cookies. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
Editor's Note
Meringue powder is available from Wilton Industries. Call 800-794-5866 or visit
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 116 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 16mg cholesterol, 66mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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Average Rating:
  • chrissybel78
    Feb 7, 2018

    By far, the softest and best tasting sugar cookie I’ve made. The icing recipe goes well with the sugar cookie as well. The cream cheese is the secret ingredient. I did only use 2 c. of flour for the dough, because I do not like dry tasting cookies and I did not have almond extract. I will use this recipe again and again.

  • Linda
    Dec 20, 2017

    This is not a good recipe for cut out cookies. The baking soda in the recipe makes the cookies puff out, and they lose their shape as they are baking. They taste good, but look ridiculous.

  • murrell006
    Dec 10, 2016

    This was really good

  • Chris-Dan
    Dec 10, 2015

    Nice recipe - made tiny cookies and dipped half in chocolate - just right!

  • jewelsrn
    Dec 23, 2013

    Just what I was looking for. I don't like traditional Christmas cookies and someone made these one time. I did a cream cheese frosting with almond extract instead of the one listed.

  • lainey116
    Dec 5, 2013

    I love new ways to make sugar cookies. Cannot wait to make them.

  • Cincoe
    Dec 3, 2013

    Delicious easy to make, one of my new favorites this will be on my favorite lists..

  • dmmkt003
    Nov 29, 2013

    These cookies have the best flavor.

  • beagle5
    Mar 28, 2013

    These really are the BEST sugar cookies ever!!!

  • Meredith1975
    Jan 7, 2013

    No comment left