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Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

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These Frosted Sugar Cookies are easy to make and don't require any dough chilling. The perfect cookie for any holiday!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword soft cut-out sugar cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Servings 16 cookies
Author Danielle

Ingredients

For the cut-out sugar cookies:

  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (190 grams) vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated 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 (95 grams) vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 drops food dye (optional)

Instructions

To make the cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the 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 to 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 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

To make the frosting:

  • Beat the cream cheese and 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.

Notes

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 to 16 cookies. Baking time was 12 to 13 minutes at 350°F.
Storage instructions: Store frosted cookies in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezing Instructions: Unfrosted cookies will freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw to room temperature before frosting. The frosting will freeze well for up to 3 months too, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature before using it.
Shortening: I prefer to use Crisco vegetable shortening for this recipe.