A soft chewy sugar cookie with sweet buttercream frosting. The best sugar cookies!
It’s DAY 1 of the 12 DAYS of COOKIE CHRISTMAS. If you can imagine, I have been baking up a storm to prepare for these magical 12 days. We are starting off with a classic sugar cookie with sweet buttercream frosting.
I made sugar cookies like CRAZY growing up. We had the sweetest neighbor growing up and she was known her buttery sugar cookie recipe. We all loved her and her cookies and I would make them every Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas for my family and friends. It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without my Mom making us our own sugar cookie shaped into a heart and topped with buttercream frosting.
I love the versatility of sugar cookies. You can make them into any shape you can dream up and frost them in all kinds of colors and designs. The options are endless but it all begins with a classic soft chewy sugar cookie recipe. I don’t want my sugar cookie to break a tooth because it is so hard. Who wants to eat something rock hard? No thank you! Soft and chewy always wins in my book.
These soft and chewy sugar cookies are made with such simple ingredients — butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt.
Oh and one single secret ingredient. A touch of cream cheese makes the cookie so tender and chewy. These Soft Chewy Sugar Cookies melt in your mouth!
Tips for making the BEST SUGAR COOKIES:
- Cream butter and sugars for at least 4 minutes until light and fluffy. This creates a smooth cookie and ensures there is no graininess.
- Add cream cheese and beat for 2 minutes longer. Use softened cream cheese to ensure optimal creaming conditions.
- Once you add dry ingredients, don’t overbeat as this would result in a tough cookie. We are aiming for a tender cookie.
- Chill the dough. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and make sure it is sealed. Chill for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. This helps when rolling out.
- Roll out with a rolling pin and cut into desired shapes.
- Place on silicone baking sheets (Silpat) or parchment paper to ensure the cookies don’t stick to the pan.
- Bake just until lightly golden on the edges but still soft in the center. Let cool before frosting.
The buttercream frosting recipe is made with sweet cream butter, powdered sugar, milk or cream, and a vanilla. So simple! Many buttercreams call for a ratio of 1 cup of butter to 8 cups of powdered sugar. That is way too sweet in my book! I want to be able to taste the butter and not just a crazy amount of sugar. I use 1 cup of butter to 4 cups of powdered sugar. I find this ratio to be just right for a perfect buttercream frosting.
If you want to experiment with flavors, you can add almond, vanilla, peppermint, or even rum extract to the frosting. If you are looking for a traditional buttercream frosting, stick with pure vanilla extract. If you want to focus on holiday flavors, go with almond, peppermint, or rum extract. Always remember that a little goes a long way! Start with a small amount of extract and you can always add more.
Top these Soft Chewy Sugar Cookies with sparkling sugar or sprinkles for a festive touch. These Soft Chewy Sugar Cookies freeze really well if placed in a freezer-proof container.
- 1 cup Butter, softened
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 2 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 Egg
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2¾ cups Flour (plus more for rolling out)
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup Butter, softened
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream or Whole Milk
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (or ½ teaspoon almond, peppermint, or rum extract)
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add cream cheese and beat for 2 minutes.
- Add egg and vanilla and cream together.
- Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir just until combined.
- Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes - 1 hour.
- Sprinkle flour over a surface where you will be rolling out cookie dough. Roll out sugar cookie dough to desired thickness. Cut out into shapes.
- Place on parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until lightly golden on edges but still soft in center.
- Let cool.
- To make buttercream frosting:
- Cream butter for 4 minutes. Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes.
- Spread over cookies.
These Soft Chewy Sugar Cookies are the special cookies we leave out for Santa Claus every Christmas Eve. I love to watch my kids decorate their own cookies for Santa. I love that tradition. I don’t want my kids to grow up! If you want to see more of our Christmas traditions, you can find our Christmas Bucket List post HERE.
Happy Baking, my friends!