Kitchn Love Letters

My Favorite Soft, Tangy Cream Cheese Cookies Will Melt In Your Mouth (I Can’t Stop Baking Them)

published Apr 25, 2024
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Credit: Kelli Foster

I’m on a little bit of a baking kick right now. After several months of renovating our kitchen, it’s done! I have an oven! I can bake! One of the first things on my baking bucket list were our “famous” cream cheese cookies. I use “famous” loosely here: When these first published (before I worked at The Kitchn), our readers went absolutely wild for them, so I’ve heard about the cream cheese cookies for the last year. 

Naturally, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided it was finally time to try them. I’m a sucker for anything cream cheese (I’ve never met a block that I haven’t loved!), especially when a dessert uses a generous amount of it. (If I can find a way to use cream cheese frosting on something, I’m on it.)

Credit: Kelli Foster

Kelli, who developed this cookie recipe, says that they’re a throwback to her youth, when the “perfectly round and pillowy cream cheese cookies” on the tray were always the ones she looked forward to most.

I can now say with confidence that if I become the type of person who makes a cookie tray to put out for guests after dinner (can you imagine — I aspire to be that person) these will always have a place on it. The cream cheese basically makes them taste like a standard sugar cookie, with a cheesecake-like tang, satisfying the itch of a cheesecake without having to actually bake one. Beyond the flavor, it’s the texture of these that feels really special. They are so soft … like melt-in-your-mouth soft and ew that’s not a way I love to describe foods. But it’s SO TRUE here.

Get the recipe: Cream Cheese Cookies

Why This Recipe Really Works

You make a very standard cookie dough: You’re gonna want to start with room temperature butter and cream cheese. You beat that up with the usual suspects, then fridge the dough for 30 minutes. Most of my friends will ask, “Ugh, really?! Do I need to wait a half hour?” The answer is yes, if you want to achieve the best texture of cookie. The dough needs to chill (and so do you! Go watch a show). Scoop the dough onto cookie sheets, bake 12 minutes.

You dust these cookies with powdered sugar after they’ve cooled a few minutes (don’t dust them when they’re hot hot or else it’ll kind of melt onto the cookie). I was skeptical if they needed this step, but I had some powdered sugar in the pantry so figured why not. It does add an old-school charm to these. I tasted one without and one with and def prefer the dusting. So whether you need a new idea for something to bake or go on a baking kick this weekend, put these on the top of your list.

Get the recipe: Cream Cheese Cookies