Crave-Worthy Sugar Cookies

Tested & Perfected Recipes

These are the best sugar cookies: rich and buttery in flavor with a crisp exterior and soft interior.

These sugar cookies are truly crave-worthy: buttery and rich in flavor with a crisp exterior and soft interior. I discovered the recipe years ago on the King Arthur Flour website, and it’s been my go-to for sugar cookies ever since.

So, what makes these sugar cookies unique? First, they’re made with cream cheese in addition to butter, which makes them tender without the need for vegetable shortening. Second, they’re made with a touch of almond extract, which lightly perfumes the cookies with the unmistakable scent of almond.

What You’ll Need To Make Crave-Worthy Sugar Cookies

ingredients for sugar cookies

How To Make Crave-Worthy Sugar Cookies

Begin by whisking the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda together in a bowl. Set aside.

whisking dry ingredients

Next, cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer with beaters).

creamed butter and sugar

Add the vanilla and almond extracts.

adding the extracts

Beat to combine, then add the egg.

adding the egg

Add the dry ingredients to the batter.

adding dry ingredients to sugar cookie batter Mix on low until the dough forms a cohesive mass. It will be a little sticky.

mixed sugar cookie dough

Pinch off tablespoons of dough and roll in a bowl of sugar.

rolling sugar cookie dough balls in sugar

Place the balls on a cookie sheet, then press them flat with a flat-bottomed glass.

pressing the sugar cookies flat

Bake for about ten minutes, until lightly golden on the bottom but still very pale on top. Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

sugar cookies cooling on rack

The cookies are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are made.

How To Freeze Sugar Cookies

If you don’t want to bake all the cookies at once, the dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.)

To freeze after baking, let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature.

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Crave-Worthy Sugar Cookies

These are the best sugar cookies: rich and buttery in flavor with a crisp exterior and soft interior.

Servings: 4 dozen
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 oz (¼ cup) cream cheese
  • 1¼ cup sugar, plus ½ cup more for rolling cookies
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  1. Set racks in middle of oven and preheat to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat in the egg. Scrape down the bowl again, then add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together into a cohesive mass. It will be a little sticky.
  4. Place the remaining ½ cup cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Moisten your hands so the dough doesn't stick to them. Pinch off the dough by tablespoonfuls, shape into rough balls (see note below), roll in the sugar to coat, and place 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using a flat-bottomed glass, flatten the cookies to ¼-inch thick. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through to ensure even cooking. The cookies will turn golden on the bottom but remain pale on top. Cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. (Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel to keep the dough moist between batches.)
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Cookie Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To Freeze After Baking: Let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 2 cookies
  • Calories: 193
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 104 mg
  • Cholesterol: 31 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • These were delicious! I did not roll them in the additional sugar, instead I made an indentation and added a small amount of guava marmalade. Excellent! Everyone loved them.Thanks, Jenn.

    • — Maria on February 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sorry, I forgot to give them 5 stars!

      • — Maria on February 3, 2022
      • Reply
  • Have made these several times and they are the best sugar cookie ever! Wanted some today but didn’t have any cream cheese. Too lazy to run to the store so substituted nonfat Greek yogurt and it worked perfectly. Cookies were absolutely delicious as they always have been!

    • — Mimi on January 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • My 13 year-old just said, “best cookie I’ve ever had.” And I have to say, he’s right. These are superb!

    • — Julie Stanley on December 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • I really wish I had never made these cookies. Because I can’t STOP eating them 🤪

    • — Pam on December 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • As a chocolate-lover, I was doubtful that there was even a thing such as crave-worthy sugar cookies. Was I ever wrong! By far, the best sugar cookie I’ve ever eaten.

    • — Amanda W on December 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • I used dairy-free and gluten-free substitutes in your sugar cookies- they were great- no gritty taste using Bob’s Red Mill 1to1 gluten-free flour and dairy-free cream cheese! I rolled the cookies in red and green sugar for the holidays. Thanks for all your great recipes- I enjoy reading the comments too!

    • — Carol Lamond on December 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, I have a granddaughter who is on a dairy-free and gluten-free diet. I plan to use this recipe using vegan Earth Balance butter sticks, non-dairy cream cheese, and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour. What do you think?

    • — Carol Lamond on December 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, I haven’t tried these with any of those substitutes so it’s hard to say for sure – sorry! Please LMK how they turn out if you make them. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 14, 2021
      • Reply
  • Wow – these are incredible. I got rave reviews on these and my husband-to-be says it’s his new favorite recipe of mine. Simple, delicious, and loved by all.

    • — Lindsey on November 4, 2021
    • Reply

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