My Favorite Cut-Out Cookie Recipe

Most of the time when I make homemade cookies I stick with the basic stuff.  I whip up some chocolate chip cookies, or I stir together my trusty Chocolate No Bake cookies, or these tasty Oatmeal Chip cookies.

But every so often I get a little more ambitious (usually around a holiday when all those festive feelings come bubbling up) and that’s when I make this recipe for cut-out sugar cookies that’s been a favorite at our house for years.

I’ve always really liked the flavor of these cookies because there’s cream cheese in the dough.  It gives the cookies a nice rich flavor and sets them apart a little bit from most ordinary sugar cookies.  This recipe makes a good sized batch of dough and most of the time I have plenty of cookies made after using about two thirds of the dough.  I wrap the remaining third of the dough in some wax paper and then put it in a ziploc freezer bag, and freeze until I want to make some more cookies.

My Favorite Cut-Out Cookie Recipe

Most of the time I use this recipe at Christmas for some cut-out decorated Christmas cookies.  Over the years I’ve kind of fallen into the routine of using up that last little batch of dough in the freezer for some Valentine’s Day cut-out cookies.  It sort of breaks up the winter blahs and gives me a reason to use up the dough that’s been just chillin’ in the freezer for the last couple months.

And that’s how it was this year too.  I got out my ball of dough from the freezer this week and hauled out my crazy assortment of cookie cutters that I’ve collected over the years.  I found my heart shaped cookie cutter there among the turkey cutter and the Christmas tree cutter, and the disembodied hand cutter (?!?) as well as few of my basic all purpose cookie cutters, and got to work making some treats for Valentine’s Day.

My Favorite Cut-Out Cookie Recipe

So here’s my tried and true recipe for cut out cookies that I’ve been using for a whole lotta years now.  It’s perfect for any holiday {or any old time for that matter} that you want some pretty decorated cookies.  This dough keeps very well in the freezer too which is always a great bonus.

I’ve also included my method for making a quick and easy glaze for these cookies that dries up hard so your cookies don’t stick together once they’re decorated if you want to stack them or lay them on top or each other in a storage container.



  • 3-1/2 cups Flour

  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder

  • 1 cup Butter  – softened (2 sticks)

  • 8 oz pkg Cream Cheese – softened

  • 2 cups Sugar

  • 1 Egg

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

  • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and the baking powder and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and the cream cheese.  Add the sugar, egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat well until mixed together.  Gradually add in the flour mixture.  Towards the end of adding in the flour mixture I usually stop using my electric mixer and finish up mixing it by hand as the dough starts to get thicker.

Divide into thirds and chill for several hours or overnight.  I usually wrap the portions of dough in wax paper while they’re chilling in the refrigerator.

To make the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface using a rolling pin.   I just toss a little bit of dough around on my clean kitchen counter and then roll out the dough.  I usually roll out the dough to a little less than 1/4″ thickness and just eyeball it, but if you’re feeling fussbudgety you can try something like these Rolling Pin Spacer Bands that help you roll out dough to an even thickness.

My Favorite Cut-Out Cookie Recipe

Cut the rolled out dough into shapes using cookie cutters.  Place the cut-out shapes onto ungreased cookie sheets.  They don’t spread out at all in the oven so you can put them pretty close together on the cookie sheet if you want.

My Favorite Cut-Out Cookie Recipe

Bake for about 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let them sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or so to cool a bit. Then transfer them to a cookie rack or lay them on on some paper toweling to cool the rest of the way.

Once they have cooled you can decorate them with the frosting glaze below and the sprinkles or other decorations of your choice.



Powdered Sugar


Sorry that I never measure this recipe, but here’s my method.  I put a couple of good sized spoonfuls of powdered sugar in a bowl.  I then  add milk, one spoonful at a time as needed, stirring it in until I have a nice consistency that’s not too runny.   If your mixture does end up being too thin, just add in some more powdered sugar.   A drop or two of food coloring can also be added.

My Favorite Cut-Out Cookie Recipe

I then use a spoon to put a little of the glaze on each cookie and spread it around with the back of the spoon.  I’ve found this works better than using a knife.  Add your sprinkles or decorations while the glaze is still wet and lay on wax paper to harden.

My Favorite Cut-Out Cookie Recipe

M&M Pretzel Treats

And if all this rolling, and cutting, and decorating of cookies sounds like too much work, here’s a another treat idea that’s quick and easy and can also be customized for any holiday.  I make these M&M pretzel treats at different times of the year, using whatever the holiday colors of the moment are.  The red and pink M&M’s work perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Get the recipe here = = >  M&M Pretzel Treats


Need a few more bright ideas?
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