Recipe Review

These Lofthouse-Style Cut-Out Sugar Cookies Stay Soft for Days

updated Dec 6, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Classic sugar cookies are a holiday baking staple. And while most recipes start with the same core ingredients — butter, sugar, flour, and flavorings — the mother-daughter team behind the blog Tastes of Lizzy T adds something extra: cream cheese!

The trio claims that the cream cheese keeps the cookies soft for days, making them perfect for decorating and gifting. Cream cheese is the not-so secret ingredient in some of my favorite cookies, including Kitchn’s own sugar cookie dough, so naturally I had high hopes for this recipe. Would it be my new go-to? I took to the kitchen to find out.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Tastes of Lizzy T’s Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Start by softening butter (use salted butter, as clarified in the comments of the recipe) and cream cheese, then mix together until combined. Add the granulated sugar, an egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract, then cream together. Add all-purpose flour and baking powder and mix to combine. Chill for 1 hour. Roll the dough 1/4-inch-thick on a floured surface, then use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Bake in a 375°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, and do not overbake.

Note: In order to bake all sugar cookies in this showdown on the same day, doughs were made and chilled one day in advance of baking.

Credit: Patty Catalano

My Honest Review of Tastes of Lizzy T’s Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Let me start with the positives. The dough comes together quickly and easily, and I liked that it was spiked with both vanilla and almond extracts. Plus, the cream cheese delivered on its promise of giving the cookies a softer, chewier texture, and keeping them soft for days.

Unfortunately, even after chilling, the dough was soft and sticky, making it incredibly difficult to work with. Ultimately, rolling it on floured parchment rather than on the countertop helped, which also allowed me to easily move it in and out of the fridge between batches (a step I found useful in maintaining the shape of the cut-outs).

The dough is rolled 1/4-inch thick, and the instructions warn “don’t overcook them!” I took those instructions seriously, resulting in thick, soft cookies with a pale color. Although the cream cheese gives the cookies a subtle tangy flavor, I found myself missing the caramelization that comes from browning.

Ultimately, this is a great option if you’re going for a Lofthouse cookie vibe, but it’s not what I’m looking for in a classic cut-out sugar cookie.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman Food styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Tastes of Lizzy T’s Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies, a Few Tips

  1. Flour generously when rolling. Since this dough is on the stickier side, flour the counter generously. An even better option is to roll the dough between floured pieces of parchment paper. The dough absorbs some of the flour, giving it a smooth texture that cuts cleanly.
  2. Chill dough between batches. Chill the cookie dough between each round of rolling and cutting. Cooling the dough firms the fats in the dough, making it easier to cut and transfer cut-out shapes to the baking sheet.
  3. Bake until golden-brown on the edges. Don’t be afraid to leave the cookies in the oven long enough to gain some color around the edges. The cookies will develop a more nuanced flavor and better texture when baked until the tips turn golden.

Overall rating: 6/10

Have you made the sugar cookies from The Tastes of Lizzy T? Tell us what you thought in the comments.