Soft Cream Cheese Cookies with Nutella Glaze

heart sugar cookies with Nutella glaze

Not only am I sharing a *new* sugar cookie recipe that blows my regular sugar cookies outta the water, 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. She’s the best. And she’s expecting! 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.

stack of heart sugar cookies with Nutella glaze

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 cookie history. I actually use this same dough to make raspberry sugar cookies, too.

ingredients for soft cream cheese sugar cookies including butter, cream cheese, sugar, egg, and almond extract

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 spread 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!

cream cheese sugar cookie dough in a glass bowl

My Roll-Out Trick

This is my tried-and-true trick when it comes to sugar cookies and we’re using the same technique again here. After you make the cookie dough, divide the dough in half. 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. 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:

cream cheese sugar cookie dough rolled out onto a silpat baking mat

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.

cutting heart cookie shapes with a cookie cutter from rolled out sugar cookie dough

sugar cookie dough hearts on a baking sheet before baking

heart sugar cookies without icing on a baking sheet

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 over-bake these cream cheese cookies as they’ll lose their softness.

So we’ve got a big batch of plain sugar cookies on our hands. What to do next?

Nutella glaze in a glass bowl

Nutella Glaze

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.

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. ♥

heart sugar cookies with Nutella glaze on a baking sheet

heart sugar cookies with Nutella glaze on a blue plate

Print
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heart sugar cookies with Nutella glaze on a blue plate

Soft Cream Cheese Cookies with Nutella Glaze

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 36 3-inch cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Extremely soft and thick sugar cookies made with cream cheese and almond extract and topped with creamy 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

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. 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 medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat until mixture is fluffy and combined, about 1 minute. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract 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. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Dough will be very soft and creamy.
  4. Generously flour your hands and rolling pin. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper or silicone baking 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. Lightly dust one of the rolled-out doughs with flour. Place a piece of parchment on top. (This prevents sticking.) Place the 2nd rolled-out dough on top. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
  6. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Carefully remove the top dough piece from the refrigerator. If it’s sticking to the bottom, run your hand under it to help remove it. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. (I like these heart cookie cutters.) Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough. Note: It doesn’t seem like a lot of dough, but you get a lot of cookies from the dough scraps you re-roll.
  7. Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 12-13 minutes until very lightly browned around the edges. If your oven has hot spots, 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 the cookies directly on baking sheets so I can stick the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator to help set the Nutella glaze. If you’d like to do it that way, 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.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Plain or decorated sugar cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Wait for the icing to set completely before layering between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. To thaw, thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months before rolling it out. Prepare the dough through step 3, divide in half, flatten both halves into a disk as we do with pie crust, wrap each in plastic wrap, then freeze. To thaw, thaw the disks in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature for about 1 hour. Roll out the dough as directed in step 4, then chill rolled out dough in the refrigerator for 45 minutes – 1 hour before cutting into shapes and baking.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

158 Comments

  1. Ikhlas Hussain says:

    You had me at Nutella glaze!! I’ve never used cream cheese in sugar cookies…I can’t wait to try these! They look divine

    1. Let me know if you try them!

  2. These cookies look amazing! Perfect for Valentine’s day. I love the Nutella glaze ♥

  3. I’m from the UK and can’t get block cream cheese, only the tub variety, would you recommend adding a little extra flour to compensate? They look amazing!

    1. Hi Sean! I don’t recommend using the spread. How about making my regular sugar cookies instead? They’re soft too!

  4. Ramona @ The Merchant Baker says:

    We love Nutella on vanilla wafers, so these sugar cookies covered in Nutella glaze must taste fantastic!

    1. The soft and creamy cookie with sweet and chocolatey Nutella glaze on top is better than I imagined!

  5. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Aw I love these virtual showers and all the recipes.  My sister is visiting next weekend and we wanted to make your cut out valentines day sugar cookies and decorate them, now you need to throw nutella at me this morning! lol  Guess we’ll have to try both!

    1. I would try both and see what you like best 🙂

  6. Awwww . What a sweet.. however scary story. Truely miracles! I wish them the best for a healthy delivery!
    I always wanted twins, I love babies and just thought having 2 at the same time would be great… I never thought of the complications that could arise.

    I made your “old school” cut outs for a cookie decorating party some friends and I had for our kids back in December. Everyone loved them. My friend was like, “your cookies are so much thicker and nicer looking than mine”. 😀

    1. Well I’m glad everyone enjoyed those sugar cookies!

  7. MinShien @ Joyous Apron says:

    This looks amazing! Anything Nutella is my favorite. Can’t wait to try it! 

    1. Let me know if you do. 🙂

  8. Would these be ok to mail or are they too soft?

    1. The cookies themselves would be great in the mail. While the Nutella glaze sets, it’s a little too soft to make it in the mail without getting a little messy.

  9. Jen @ feedingglutenfree.com says:

    These look so so so good!!! Oh my goodness my daughter is going to LOVE these!! Thank you!

    1. Let me know if you try them!

  10. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy says:

    That glaze is genius, Sally!

    1. I want to try your wonton cups!

    2. Keilah Whitley says:

      These cookies look delicious but Sally’s response made me look up your Wonton Chicken Cups… can’t wait to try them! They look amazing 🙂

  11. Catherine Smith says:

    I am so jealous you are friends with her!! I would just max out on happiness if i could be friends with the both of you! I’ve read her story for years and I am just so happy for them. I lost my baby in April, so her story hits home so so much for me. Happy virtual baby shower day to Lindsay!

    1. Catherine, you’re not alone. Lindsay’s journey has brought hope and comfort to many. <3

  12. I love these cookies! So sweet and cute and I’m sure they taste amazing!

    1. I’m a big fan of them, especially the cream cheese and almond extract!

  13. Love this post and love Lindsay’s story. I’ve been following her blog for a couple of years now and am so happy for them! Her cakes are amazing!! Will be checking out all the shower recipes today for sure….Have fun 😉

    1. BEST CAKES EVER!

  14. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar says:

    Giiiirrrllll that glaze!!! I NEED it! Totally genius! And thank you so much for the sweet words and celebrating our boys today! 🙂

    1. YAY!! Congrats again my dear friend! 

  15. We are having a thank you party for some high school Loyola boys who spend January helping our low income kids at our school. These are going to just perfect for gift bags to show them all how much we love them and appreciate their dedication to our students. I love you blog and recently became a subscriber. Your is the email I love most each day. I am a long time (really long time) baker but love all your new recipes that I can try and trust.

    Thanks for adding to my day amid a sea of crap emails so nice to have a lovely read.
    Congrats on your baby girl; enjoy each moment because they go by so so fast in the blink of an eye.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Susan! So happy that my recipes can brighten your inbox 🙂 I hope the boys love the cookies – what a great thing that they are doing!

  16. Could you just take tablespoons of dough, put on cookie sheet & flatten slightly, or does it have to be rolled out?  

    1. Hi Karen! Use my cream cheese sugar cookies recipe for the drop cookie version. 🙂 Pretty similar!

  17. I have 2 grandchildren who R gluten free…… will this work with gluten free flour?

    1. Hi Glenda! I wish I could help, but I have very little experience with GF flours. If you try it, let me know!

  18. I must make these!  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve never tasted Nutella!  This may be the recipe that makes me buy a jar!  

    1. Happy baking, Deb!! Hope you love them (and enjoy your first taste of Nutella!) 🙂

  19. These cookies look delicious! I love me a good thick soft sugar cookie! Nutella glaze on top…all the heart eye emojis 🙂

    1. Thank you, Lindsey!!

  20. My son can’t have tree nuts, any other suggestion for a glaze?

    1. Any frosting would be great! Maybe the strawberry? Or you can try this royal icing.

      1. Oh that strawberry frosting looks great! And I have tried your royal icing and love it! 🙂

  21. Glory/ Glorious Treats says:

    Well these sound totally amazing! The only problem I see with these is I don’t have them in my hands right now!! =)

    1. Lol! Thanks Glory!!

  22. Oh man! These look mouth-wateringly delicious!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  23. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    I just made cream cheese cookies for the first time at Christmas and they’re so good, I bet they are amazing. And that glaze, OMG!

    1. 🙂 Thanks!

  24. These look delicious! Will the sugar cookie hold up to royal icing? I have been wanting to try a new recipe, but need one that will hold up to decorated cookies.

    1. It sure will! The soft cookie and hardened royal icing taste wonderful together. Best textures.

  25. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says:

    These cookies are the perfect way to celebrate – and you can never go wrong with Nutella!

    1. My thoughts exactly!!

  26. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    ah so fun!!

    and these cookies are so so so cute and that nutella glaze is everythinggg!

    1. Thank you, Kayle!

  27. I’m thinking of making sugar cookie bars and putting the Nutella glaze on top (with sprinkles to decorate!). Think it would work on them?

    1. I can’t see why not!

  28. Thanks for sharing! Would it be ok to use this cookie and nutella glaze recipe and make the footballs from the previous recipe? I would still use the royal icing for the white detailing. I’m worried the glaze won’t spread as well as the brown royal icing. Thanks!

    1. It sure is! This Nutella glaze is super easy to work with.

  29. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

    These are seriously perfect cookies!!!

    1. Thank you so much Jocelyn!!

  30. Lindsay does love her Nutella, what a perfect recipe. And your tip about rolling out the dough before chilling in MINDBLOWING! Thanks for being a part of the party!

    1. Absolutely! Thanks Julianne!!

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