#1 Best Homemade Cream Cheese Cookies Recipe in 35 Minutes
Whenever someone says something about cream cheese cookies, I’m in. These are one of the friendliest varieties of baked stuff. Baking cookies can be considered quality family time because most of the time this activity involves sugar cookie frosting and sprinkles. And I believe there is no kid on the entire planet which doesn’t like to play with sprinkles. And by play I mean eat them and spread them throughout the entire house.
One of the best things about cream cheese sugar cookies is that you can go bonkers with the frosting and decorating. Nearly all types of frosting can be used and there are millions of varieties of sprinkles out there. I can assure you that children can be very creative with these cookies. However, if you want to photograph them, I advise you to hide a few and decorate them yourself.
You are entitled to ask why should we make cream cheese cookies. Why not simple cookies?
How does cream cheese affect cookies?
Cream cheese is a fat. When added to a dough it gives texture and body. Also, it helps with the moisture. Making cookies with cream cheese will give them that exquisite cake taste. They won’t be some simple cookies anymore.
This recipe calls for cream cheese as well as for butter. Mixing these two ingredients ensures some moist yet crisp cookies. I used full fat cream cheese and I would recommend it. A low fat cream cheese can affect the taste and also the texture.
How is cream cheese made?
Cream cheese was first made in 1872, in the state of New York, by a dairyman. This happened long before a wholesaler instructed him to produce a greater volume. Since then, the cream cheese took the name “Philadelphia Brand”. In 1928, the company was bought by Kraft Foods and still remains the most popular cream cheese brand in the United States.
Cream cheese is a fresh soft cheese with a mild taste. It is commonly used as a spread for breakfast toast or bagels.
The base for cream cheese consists of cow milk and cream. The fat content is of at least 33% and that is why it has that rich and smooth texture. The United States Food and Drug Administration requires that this type of cheese should contain no less than 33% fat and no more than 55%. However, there are a lot of types of low fat cream cheese which are deviations from this formula.
In the process of making cream cheese, producers start with a combination of milk and cream or fresh pasteurized cream. To decrease the pH, they include lactic acid bacteria. This will help in the forming of curds. Whey is drained, curds are heated. Often producers bring in stabilizers to add structure. This type of cheese doesn’t require aging, it is created to be eaten fresh.
You have the possibility of making your own cream cheese. When you add vinegar or lemon juice and to milk you will get curds. If you strain them and then blend in a food processor until smooth you will create a delicious homemade cream cheese.
How to make cream cheese cookies?
You need some basic ingredients like flour, cream cheese, butter, eggs and sugar. For this recipe I replaced the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour. I must share with you that it worked just fine and I can’t even tell the difference between the gluten and non-gluten version. The only slight distinction is that the gluten-free option seems to be a little grittier but just a bit. These cookies tend to have a sandier texture, even the ones cooked with all-purpose flour. The flour mix I used contained xanthan gum so I didn’t add any extra. It is possible that if I added only a little more xanthan gum, the tiny difference in texture wouldn’t have appeared.
There are plenty of variations of cream cheese cookies.
How to make keto cream cheese cookies?
Let’s take, for example, the keto cream cheese cookies. As you probably know, followers of keto diet state that it is advisable to cut down the carbs amount you ingest every day and increase the fat intake. This statement is based on the fact that the moment your body remains out of carbs as a fuel, it starts transforming fats into energy to help you function correctly. This is called ketosis state. So, to make keto cream cheese cookies, you will need to replace the flour with almond flour and sugar with a low calories sweetener. Almond flour has a lower carb and a higher fiber content so it is more suitable for low carb diets. Keto cookies have only 1g of carbs per cookie so they can successfully enter the category of low carb cream cheese cookies.
How to make cream cheese spritz cookies?
The term “spritz” comes from a German word, “spritzen”. It literally means “to squirt”. These cookies received the name because the soft dough is pushed through a cookie press. The press looks like a cylinder which has a plunger attached at one end. You just fill the cylinder with cookie dough and add some decorative discs at the other end. When the dough comes out, the cream cheese spritz cookies will have different decorative shapes.
Usually the dough for the cookies is kept in the fridge for at least one hour so the butter inside will harden a bit. In case you are making cream cheese spritz cookies, you will skip this step because the dough needs to be soft so it can pass through the cookie press. Otherwise, the recipe follows pretty much the same step.
Cream cheese spritz cookies can also be decorated in a thousand ways with frosting and sprinkles.
How to make cream cheese sugar cookies?
In this case, we will add one more step: ask the children to roll the cookies through sugar before baking them. Do you think your kids will enjoy doing that? I guess you’ll just have to prepare the dough and see what happens.
How to make chocolate chip cookies with cream cheese?
For these cookies, you will also need chocolate chips in addition to the rest of the ingredients. Fold the chips in after preparing the dough. Use a spatula to do that. The next step is to refrigerate the dough for at least one hour before baking. There is also the option of shaping the cookies and placing on a baking tray, and then taking the tray to the refrigerator for one hour.
How to make Oreo cream cheese cookies?
The not so secret ingredient for this recipe is Oreo cookies. You need to crush some of these cookies and add them to the dough before refrigerating it. All the other steps are the same.
How to make lemon cream cheese cookies?
To give the fresh lemon flavor to the cookies, you can use both lemon juice and zest. While the zest fits perfectly into the dough, juice finds its place between the frosting ingredients. And if you sprinkle some extra lemon zest on top of the cookies, you will get the perfect treat.
How to make red velvet cream cheese cookies?
These spectacular cookies look so good that you might think it’s very hard to prepare them or they require some exquisite ingredients only available for high-class chefs. But you would be far from the truth.
To get that beautiful color, you can use a bit of cacao powder and a few drops of red food coloring or beet powder. If you make these cookies, make sure you invite people over so they appreciate you cooking skills and be amazed by these delicious goodies.
How to make fruit cream cheese cookies?
Each year when summer kicks in I feel like baking although it’s hot outside. I love cooking with all those fresh fruits out there. So I add fruits to a lot of cakes and cookies. Enhancing the flavor of cream cheese cookies with fresh strawberry slices added to the dough is always a good idea. You may also use apricots, peaches or various berries.
For the cookies
- 3 cups gluten-free flour mix (make sure it contains xanthan gum)
- 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 oz. full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 6 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp honey
- Combine the flour, salt and baking powder. If your flour mix doesn’t have xanthan gum, add one teaspoon to this mixture.
- Place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat together for 2 minutes on high speed using a hand-held mixer. The mixture should be creamy and smooth. Bring in the sugar and mix on medium speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and egg and mix again until well incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low speed until combined. You will get a thick cookie dough. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and take it to the fridge for at least one hour.
- Take the dough out of the fridge. In case you left it to chill more than 4 hours, allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes so you are able to scoop it.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Take tablespoons of dough and roll them into balls. Place them on the already prepared trays. Leave a space of about 1 ½ inches between the dough balls. Flatten them a bit with the back of a spoon or a measuring cup.
- Bake the cookies for 15-17 minutes until they get a light brown color around the edges. You may rotate the tray after 10 minutes so the cookies will be baked evenly. You will notice that they look soft in the middle when removing from the oven but do not overbake because they lose their soft and tender texture.
- Let them chill for 5 minutes before taking them to a wire rack. The cookies need to be completely cool when you decorate them.
To prepare the sugar cookie frosting
- Mix together the butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and honey and mix again.
- Spread the frosting on each cookie and then decorate with sprinkles.
- Xanthan gum helps in keeping the dough together in the absence of gluten. Most of the gluten-free flour mixes contain xanthan gum but in case yours doesn’t, just add one teaspoon of this ingredient to the mix. You may also prepare these cookies with all-purpose flour. Keep the same quantity, they will turn out equally delicious.
- If you want to make cream cheese sugar cookies, you will only need to spread some sugar on a plate and roll each dough ball through it before taking it to the tray for baking. This step can be successfully accomplished by kids. Prepare the same sugar cookie frosting and let them decorate with sprinkles.
- The classic frosting consists of butter, cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. However, you need a great amount of sugar for this, about two cups. I wanted to cut down the quantity of sugar for this recipe and I added a bit of honey instead of sugar. The consistency of the frosting remains soft and tender.
- If you want to make the cookie dough ahead of time, you should know that it can be kept for 3 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.