Every Christmas, our family decorates sugar cookies. So now, after years of practicing the art taste vs. sturdy-enough-for-frosting cookie – we have a winner! And I’m sharing it with you.

For the cookies:

  1. 2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cup  sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened (this is important!)
  5. 1-ounce cream cheese softened
  6. 2 teaspoons almond extract

For the frosting:

  1. 2 cups  confectioners’ sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons milk
  3. 1-ounce cream cheese softened
  4. Food coloring
  5. Assorted festive sprinkles


Wisk the flour, sugar, and salt until combined.  Using a mixer add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until dough looks mush and wet (not too tasty looking at this time.) Then add cream cheese and vanilla and beat until dough begins to form large clumps.

Transfer dough to parchment covered counter; knead (spray your hands with PAM it makes it easier.) just until it forms a cohesive mass and divide in half. Form each half into disk, wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.  Don’t skip this part. Plus it’s nice to be able to get half of your work done and move on to other things.

Two hours later or more: Begin working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll dough 1/8 inch thick between 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Slide dough, still between parchment, onto the baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Working with 1 sheet of dough at a time, remove the top piece of parchment and cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters. Using a thin offset spatula, transfer shapes to a prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1-inch apart.

Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until light golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.

cookiesOnce you have your cookies cooled, mix the frosting ingredients together and start being the real artist you know you are deep in your heart. Or if you’re like me, you frost, sprinkle and eat.

P.S. I never said I was patient enough to make them pretty, but they taste really good.



Katie Baldwin has a secret life. During the day she is a mild-mannered researcher at a prestigious University. By night she writes fantastical tales of romance and mystery. When she is not pacing her home working out dialogue in her mind, she is baking scones and working out dialogue in her mind. Aside from writing, she has a ferocious passion for the Green Bay Packers, Nutella, and her MinPin/Chihuahua mix dog/baby, Marley. She can be found on twitter waxing eloquently about all of her passions. Go Pack Go! Twitter @katiebwrites https://www.facebook.com/katie.baldwin.372661

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