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These Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting are easy to make and don’t require any dough chilling. The perfect cookie for any holiday!
One thing that I love about this time of year is the cookies. Or more specifically, soft cut-out sugar cookies. There’s something so fun about decorating sugar cookies around this time of year, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share this recipe with you.
The wonderful thing about this sugar cookie recipe is that you don’t have to chill the cookie dough. There’s nothing more frustrating than making sugar cookie dough and having to wait 1-2 hours before you can even cut them out to bake.
With this recipe, all you have to do is mix up the sugar cookie dough, roll it out, cut out your cookies, and bake them. It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?
One important ingredient that you need for these cookies is Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening. You can find Crisco in the traditional blue tub or 1-cup baking sticks like the picture above.
If you’re wondering why Crisco is so important in these cookies, let me explain. Butter melts at a lower temperature than shortening, which means cookies made with butter spread a lot faster when they’re in the oven. Remember how I mentioned that this cookie dough doesn’t require any dough chilling? It’s because the shortening in these cookies helps them retain their shape in the oven, so they don’t spread like cookies made with butter.
Another great thing about using shortening versus butter in these cookies is that it doesn’t require refrigeration. In other words, you can start mixing up your cookie dough immediately, unlike other recipes where you have to wait for your butter to soften.
Curious to see how cookies made with Crisco compared to those made with butter? You can tell that the cookies made with Crisco spread less than those made with butter. In my recipe testing, I also found that the cookies made with shortening baked up thicker and were more uniform in color.
And since shortening is virtually flavorless it doesn’t mask any flavors in your cookies either. My taste testers weren’t even able to tell a difference with these cookies.
To make this cookie dough, you’ll start out with some flour, baking powder, and salt. For the wet ingredients, you’ll be using some Crisco, sugar, an egg, a couple tablespoons of milk, and vanilla extract. You’ll combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix them together until just combined.
Then, you’ll divide the cookie dough in half and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface. You can roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thick or a little bit thicker to 3/8-inch thick. I rolled these cookies to 3/8-inch thick because I wanted them to be a little thicker and softer.
You can top these cookies with any kind of frosting that you like, but I really love these cookies with some cream cheese frosting. You can also add a drop or two of food dye to the frosting and change up the color for different holidays or other celebrations!
Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cut-out sugar cookies:
- 3 cups (375 grams) Pillsbury BEST™ All Purpose Flour (spooned & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 (8-ounce) package brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
- 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 drops food dye optional
To make the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Pillsbury BEST™ All Purpose Flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening and sugar until well combined. Mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness for crisp cookies or ⅜-inch thickness for softer cookies. Cut with 2 to 3-inch cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Re-roll any scrap pieces of sugar cookie dough and cut out more cookies as needed.
- Bake in separate batches at 350° for 8-13 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set and lightly browned. Baking time will vary based on how thick you roll the cookie dough and the size of your cookie cutter.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
To make the frosting:
- Beat the cream cheese and Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening until well combined, then mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla until fully combined.
- Frost the cooled sugar cookies and top with sprinkles if desired.
For these cookies, I rolled the sugar cookie dough to 3/8-inch thick and used a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out 15-16 cookies. Baking time was 12-13 minutes at 350°F.
Store frosted cookies in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Cut-Out Sugar Cookie recipe from Crisco