Roll-Out Cream Cheese Cookies

Recipe by Susan Reid

This lightly spiced cream cheese cookie dough is a dream to work with. It rolls beautifully, holds its shape when baked and, best of all, tastes much more delicious than an ordinary sugar cookie, thanks to a hint of ginger and nutmeg. This dough for cream cheese cookies also makes delightful Stained Glass Cookies

30 mins
7 to 9 mins
1 hr 39 mins
about 4 dozen 2" cookies
Cream Cheese Roll-Out Cookies - select to zoom
Cream Cheese Roll-Out Cookies - select to zoom
Finished cookies on trays - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough: In a large bowl, beat together the shortening, butter, sugar, and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the spices, baking soda, salt, and flour and mix until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into quarters and place on pieces of parchment. Roll the dough 1/2" thick. Stack the pieces of dough (on their parchment) on a baking sheet, cover with plastic (or your favorite reusable wrap), and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  2. To cut and bake: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

  3. Lightly flour your work surface and work with one piece of dough at a time. Roll the dough 1/4" thick and cut into desired shapes; re-roll the scraps and cut additional shapes. This dough is quite forgiving; scraps can be gathered and re-rolled up to three times before getting tough. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets. 

  4. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.

  5. To make the glaze: Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of the milk in a medium bowl; the mixture should be thick. Add more milk a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is the consistency of honey. It should fall off the spoon in a thick ribbon that disappears back into the bowl after a few seconds. Use to glaze the cooled cookies.

  6. Storage information: Store cream cheese cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 3 weeks; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Make-ahead tips: Make the cream cheese dough and refrigerate it up to 3 days before cutting and baking. Baked, unglazed cookies will hold for weeks in an airtight container (they taste even better after aging a little). Glaze the cookies just before you're ready to decorate them. 

  • To make a chocolate version of this roll-out cookie dough: Reduce the all-purpose flour to 3 3/4 cups (450g) and add 1/4 cup (22g) of black cocoa. (Any unsweetened, Dutch-processed cocoa will work, but depending on what is used, the color of the dough will vary.) Whisk the cocoa in with the dry ingredients and mix dough together as normal; no other changes are needed.

  • Turn this cookie dough into beautiful, "printed" sugar cookies. See how it's done in our video, "Printed" Sugar Cookies.