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Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

This is the best recipe by far that I've tried for cut-out sugar cookies. The dough handles beautifully, forming a wonderful canvas for icing and decorations. It also doubles or triples easily for extra-large batches around the holidays.





  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 c butter
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt

Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon zest.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. While the mixer is running, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture until incorporated, and a dough forms. 
  3. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and divide in half (see note). Place each ball between two sheets of parchment, and roll out into a sheet 1/4 to 1/8-inch-thick. Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes. 
  4. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line baking sheets with parchment. Cut cookies out with cookie cutters, and arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Bake 8-12 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then finish cooling on a wire rack. If icing or decorating, allow to cool completely beforehand. Store in a tightly covered container.

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