Soft Cream Cheese Cookies with Nutella Glaze

Extremely soft and thick sugar cookies made with cream cheese and almond extract and topped with creamy Nutella glaze! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today’s big. Huge. Mega. EXTRAORDINARY.

Not only am I sharing a *new* sugar cookie recipe that blows my regular sugar cookies outta the water (ok, not really… but close), I’m also joining a few other friends to throw Lindsay a virtual baby shower. You know Lindsay from her stunning blog packed with beautiful layer cakes and other sweet treats. Remember when I shared a recipe from her cookbook? And remember when she surprised me with a virtual baby shower back in August? She’s the best. And she’s expecting twin boys in a couple weeks. More on that in a second! 🙂

Extremely soft and thick sugar cookies made with cream cheese and almond extract and topped with creamy Nutella glaze! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’ve been inspired to try a new sugar cookie recipe recently. Maybe it’s because of the 44938 batches of traditional sugar cookies I made last year or because I love my cream cheese sugar cookies so much. And I needed an excuse for Nutella glaze because, well, who doesn’t?

Today’s cut-out sugar cookies are the softest, thickest, and creamiest sugar cookies to ever come out of my oven. This is a bold statement, but they set a new standard for sugar cookies. Here’s why I’m calling them my new favorite:

  • The dough is so easy to work with
  • Cookies hold their shape beautifully
  • Literally the softest sugar cookies
  • A little tang, a little sweet
  • Almond extract because it’s miraculous in sugar cookies
  • Each bite is smooth and creamy
  • Nice flat surface for decorating

I took my regular cream cheese sugar cookies, added more cream cheese and a little extra flour, rolled the dough out, crossed my fingers this would actually work, and the rest is sweeeeeet cookie history. Let’s make them!

Ingredients for soft cream cheese cut-out sugar cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

My #1 Cream Cheese Rule

Use the right cream cheese! Don’t reach for cream cheese spread sold in a tub. You know the stuff you schmear on your bagels? Not that. You want the actual blocks/bricks of cream cheese. Cream cheese spread is much thinner and meant for spreading. The 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese are perfect for cooking and baking. I use cream cheese a lot in my kitchen. You’ll need 4 ounces, half of an 8-ounce block.

The sugar cookie dough, made from 8 staple ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, and egg is thick and creamy. You know you’re in for a treat when a cookie recipe starts with a super soft cookie dough like this!

Cookie dough for soft cream cheese sugar cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Remember my trick when it comes to sugar cookie dough? We reviewed it over the holiday baking season because sugar cookies was the December Baking Challenge. And we’re applying the same trick to these cream cheese cookies too.

My Roll-Out Trick

After the cookie dough is made, divide the dough in half. Then roll each half out and chill them in the refrigerator. So we’re rolling the cookie dough out BEFORE chilling it, which isn’t typical for most sugar cookie recipes. But that’s my trick! The dough is so much easier to roll out before it’s chilled.

Why are we chilling it though? So the cookies keep their shape when baked.

And why divide in 2? Because it’s difficult to roll out a huge mass of dough. Dividing into smaller sections makes rolling out more manageable. Got it?

Since this is a very soft cookie dough, make sure you flour your hands, rolling pin, and work surface. Here’s half of the dough rolled out:

Rolling out cream cheese sugar cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’ll roll out the doughs to 1/4-inch thickness. I like to roll it out directly on a silicone baking mat. Why? Because you have to chill the rolled out dough in the fridge. And you can’t really pick up dough that you rolled out on the counter, right? Nor can you cut into shapes when the dough is this warm. So roll out on a nonstick surface that you can literally pick up, put on a baking sheet, and place in the fridge. So… make dough, divide in 2, roll out, chill. Got it?

After the dough has chilled, let’s cut into shapes. Hearts, preferably. Because heart sugar cookies are so darn cute!! (Here is the heart cookie cutter set I have.) But you can use any shape. How about footballs for the Super Bowl? Go Eagles!

Cream cheese heart sugar cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cream cheese heart sugar cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cream cheese heart sugar cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cookies don’t spread much when they’re baking, so they should stay around 1/4 inch thick. That’s a thick sugar cookie! Be sure not to overbake these cream cheese cookies as they’ll lose their softness. Shoot for 11-12 minutes or just until the edges are very very very slightly browned.

So we’ve got a big batch of plain sugar cookies on our hands. Royal icing, you’re great and all… but let’s bring out the big guns. Nutella!

Nutella glaze on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This Nutella Glaze is Very Awesome

My friends and I had a cookie exchange party last month. One of my friends brought almond shortbread cookies adorned with Nutella glaze. Hands down one of the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. Mostly in part to the almond extract/Nutella glaze combination. But the Nutella glaze was crazy. It “set” on top of the cookies, so she could easily stack and transport them. It was sweet, chocolatey, and nutty– and I had to make it myself.

Made from 5 ingredients: Nutella, heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and a little salt. Very very simple. Nutella is super sticky and thick so it’s easiest to use a mixer to beat all of these ingredients together.

And in case you missed it… this Nutella glaze will set on top of the cookies. It won’t become hard or anything, but it will set making the cookies convenient to stack, store, transport, give to your Nutella-loving Valentine, etc. Spread this icing on cupcakes and breads and muffins and donuts and your spoon. There’s no limits when it comes to Nutella glaze. ♥

Extremely soft and thick sugar cookies made with cream cheese and almond extract and topped with creamy Nutella glaze! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I LOVE THESE!!!!

Extremely soft and thick sugar cookies made with cream cheese and almond extract and topped with creamy Nutella glaze! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ok, back to Lindsay. I met Lindsay last year at a blogging conference and she’s just as sweet as her recipes. Lindsay and her husband have been very open about their long and emotional journey towards pregnancy, a story that may hit home with readers out there. They were blessed with the news of twin boys and Lindsay has shared updates of her high risk pregnancy on her blog. Friends and I are so excited to celebrate Lindsay and her expanding family today. We’re all posting recipes dedicated to her. See what everyone’s bringing to the party!

(Some links won’t work until later this morning.)

Soft Cream Cheese Cookies with Nutella Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups + 2 Tablespoons (390g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 ounces (112g) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Nutella Glaze

  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup (100g) Nutella
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • optional: 1/2 cup (60g) chopped hazelnuts for garnish

Directions:

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  3. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be very soft and creamy. Make sure you flour your hands, work surface, and rolling pin.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment paper or a lightly floured silicone baking mat (I prefer the nonstick silicone mat) to about 1/4-inch thickness. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Stack the pieces, with parchment paper between the two, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper.
  6. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using heart cookie cutter, cut into shapes. I used heart cookie cutters. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd dough piece.
  7. Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes until VERY lightly browned around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating. I like to decorate cookies directly on baking sheets so I can stick the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator to help set the Nutella glaze. So place the cooled cookies back on baking sheets.
  8. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat all of the ingredients together on medium-high speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste. Add another pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. Spread on each cooled cookie then decorate with hazelnuts, if desired. Nutella glaze will set at room temperature after 3-4 hours and even quicker in the refrigerator, about 1 hour.
  9. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Make ahead tip: Plain cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. I do not recommend freezing with glaze on top. You can chill the rolled-out cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (step 5). You can also freeze the cookie dough (before rolling out in step 4) for up to 3 months. Then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before rolling out. Chill for only 30 minutes in step 5 as opposed to 2 hours.

Recipe Notes:

Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Spatula | Rolling Pin | Silpat Baking Mat | Cookie SheetHeart Cookie Cutters | Frosting Knife

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

98 Comments

Comments

  1. Christine on January 26, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Oh goody, a new sugar cookie recipe! I will for sure try this out next time I am with my mom and we are decorating cookies! This sounds incredible!

    And Nutella glaze? OMG….you are putting me in a predicament because I DO SO LOVE the buttercream frosting…but you say this is amazing and I trust you….so I think I might need to try it too!

    • Sally on January 26, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      Have so much fun decorating these with your mom! And let me know what you think of the Nutella glaze! 🙂

  2. Kankana on January 26, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    How very cute are these cookies 🙂 Saving to try!

  3. Megan on January 26, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Sally! Could the cookies be made without the almost extract? Thanks!

    • Megan on January 26, 2018 at 8:59 pm

      *almond (autocorrect!)

    • Sally on January 28, 2018 at 6:18 am

      Yes, definitely! Just leave it out. You can replace with more vanilla extract if you’d like.

  4. Laura on January 26, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    My three year old daughter and I made them a couple hours ago for tomorrow’s dance class. And then we ate them all. Delicious!

    • Sally on January 28, 2018 at 6:18 am

      Yay! Happy to read that!

  5. Laura | Tutti Dolci on January 27, 2018 at 12:38 am

    Gorgeous cookies, I love that glaze!

  6. Sally K on January 28, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Sally, I made these cookies this weekend and they are sooooo good!
    Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes with us

  7. Michelle on January 28, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    I made these today. Delicious! The icing is the perfect complement to the cookie! 

  8. Anastasia on January 29, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Sally I’m from South Africa and have tried some of your recipes that are amazing. I want to make these cookies for my daughters class mates for Valentine’s Day. When should I make them if I want to package them using royal icing? Also I wanted to add a marble paint effect on them with fondant will it hold? 

    • Sally on January 29, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Anatasia! Fondant should be fine and you can make these cookies a day or 2 ahead of time. They stay nice and soft if you roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick and bake for only about 11-12 minutes.

  9. kim on January 29, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I couldn’t get these to roll out, because the dough was so sticky. I thought that I was pretty generous with the flour when I came to that step, but didn’t want over do it. I chilled the dough for a good 4 hours, and it was still sticky. I ended up just rolling balls with my hands and flattening them out with a glass, and they taste wonderful, but I was excited to use cutters for my kiddos. Was I doing something wrong, or should I have really gone for it with the flour?

    • Sally on January 29, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Kim! Just keep adding more flour so you can neatly roll it out. The cream cheese– did you use full-fat block cream cheese?

  10. Elizabeth on February 2, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    I made these this week. They are so good!  Perfect make ahead instructions. I made the dough two nights ago and cut them out tonight. Highly recommend this recipe! It may be my go to from now on. The cookie itself is not overly sweet so the glaze really enhances the sugar cookie rather than overpower it.  Love it! 

  11. Kathy on February 6, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I made these last week, as I was going to visit my step-daughter and she LOVES loves LOVES Nutella. They came out looking just like yours, however I was disappointed in the taste. They were ok, a little dry for my taste. Good with a cup of coffee, but not worth the calories. I was massively disappointed. Especially as I tasted the dough pre cooking (who doesn’t !) and it was delicious!!

    🙁

  12. Liss on February 6, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Sally, if i use the mini heart cookie cutters, should those bake for a different time than the larger heart shapes?

    • Sally on February 6, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      Hi Liss! It’s around the same bake time, maybe a minute less… if that. Just keep your eye on them.

  13. Tiffany on February 8, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Hi Sally, I was thinking of trying this amazing-sounding Nutella glaze on a batch of your chocolate sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day. (Have you tried this already? Is it good?) I’m not sure how the sizes of the recipes compare though. Since this recipe makes enough glaze for ~36 cookies and the chocolate sugar cookie recipe only makes ~18 cookies, should I cut the Nutella glaze recipe in half?

    • Sally on February 8, 2018 at 11:46 am

      I haven’t had the chance to try it yet, but I expect the combo to be GREAT! I think halving this glaze recipe is best.

  14. Alicia on February 9, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Would this be good with another frosting or glaze? I love the cream cheese cookies idea (have some bricks from christmas baking i didn’t use) so would love to make these, but (sorry!) actually not a nutella fan really. Plus it’s kind of pricey too! I was thinking just buttercream frosting spread thinly, or a typical royal icing.

    • Sally on February 10, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      Absolutely! In fact, I made them this week and decorated with my vanilla buttercream this morning.

  15. Heather Yates on February 11, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    These are phenomenal! The cream cheese adds a nice lightness to the cookie and they are incredibly soft. This recipe is going directly in my favourites!

  16. MissChanandlerBong on February 14, 2018 at 8:04 am

    I am definitely trying these. My step mom used to make cookies with cream cheese which were awesome! And this 30 years ago and on the other part of the world – in Bulgaria! Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Adaora on February 14, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Can you chill the dough before shaping the cookies, and then roll them out and bake them? Or will I need to chill them again invest they are shaped for two hours or so?
    Thank you! 🙂

    • Adaora on February 14, 2018 at 11:32 am

      Oops, I meant once* not invest!

    • Sally on February 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      The dough it very difficult to roll out once it’s chilled so it’s much easier to roll it out first!

  18. Theresa on February 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Made these today for my grandsons. Topped some with Nutella glaze, and some with vanilla buttercream in white, pink, and red.  Used a few heart shaped sprinkles. Beautiful and yummy!!

  19. Shana on February 16, 2018 at 9:24 am

    This is my new sugar cookie recipe! The only quibble was that I found the almond extract to be overpowering, so I’ll cut that way back the next time. I may also experiment with ways to amp up the Nutella flavor in the glaze – it seemed to be a bit lost in the sugar and cream.

  20. Lisa on February 16, 2018 at 10:42 am

    BEST COOKIES EVER!!! 

  21. Vonnie on February 25, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    I was wondering if I could roll the dough in a log shape, refrigerate and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices to bake? This would be easier than rolling and cutting the dough… I plan to make these this week!!!

    • Sally on February 25, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      I haven’t personally tried it yet, but want to. Let me know how they turn out! I think they’ll be great.

      • Vonnie on February 26, 2018 at 5:45 am

        Thank you so much for having Sally’s Baking Addiction!  This is my “ go to” any time I plan to bake!  The lemon blueberry cake may be my favorite!  Thank you for sharing your love of baking, and delicious recipes, with us!!!



  22. Jerri on March 7, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    If making the dough ahead of time and freezing, can the dough be chilled, cut with cookie cutter and then frozen? I would use parchment paper to avoid sticking.

    • Sally on March 8, 2018 at 6:39 am

      Yes, absolutely.

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