Soft and tender gluten free cream cheese cutout sugar cookies that taste like cheesecake in a cookie. With a simple cream cheese frosting, it’s the perfect cutout cookie!
As the weather turns cooler, everyone knows that that means cookie season is nearly upon us. An absolutely essential part of cookie season is the all-important cutout sugar cookie.
A proper cutout sugar cookie rolls out smoothly and easily and can take any shape. It doesn’t spread at all during baking, since that can ruin the shape in a hurry.
Because we already have a perfect recipe for Lofthouse-style gluten free soft frosted sugar cookies, it might seem like we’re all set for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and everything in between.
And then you see these soft gluten free cream cheese cutout sugar cookies. And you know.
They’re a wee bit more tender than our original cutout sugar cookies, but the real difference is in the taste. Oh my my my.
They roll out just as easily as our “originals.” But that cream cheese flavor in both the cookies themselves and the frosting is just something special.
When I gave them to my children, I didn’t tell them that these were any different than the originals which they have had the good fortune to enjoy dozens of times. And then my son said it…
“Mom? Are these, like, cheesecake cookies or something?” Bingo, young man. Bingo.
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
5 tablespoons (36 g) confectioners’ sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the frosting 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons meringue powder (LorAnn and AmeriColor brands are gluten free)*
4 cups (460 g) confectioners’ sugar
*If you don’t have meringue powder, simply add more confectioners’ sugar by the tablespoonful, beating well, until the frosting thickens enough that it holds its shape well when scooped. It will not harden as it sets, though, so the cookies cannot be stacked on one another without the meringue powder in the frosting.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine well. In a separate bowl, place the cream cheese, butter, egg and vanilla, and mix to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the cream cheese mixture. Mix to combine, and then knead it together with your hands until a smooth dough forms. Place the dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper and roll out a bit less than 1/3-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and place them about 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake set in the center and just beginning to brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, place the cream cheese and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until combined. Turn the speed up to high and mix until creamy. Add the salt, meringue powder and about 3 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Mix slowly until the sugar is incorporated. Turn the mixer up to high and beat until it becomes uniformly thick. Add the rest of the confectioners’ sugar if necessary to thicken the frosting.
Once the cookies are completely cool, pipe or spoon a generous amount of frosting onto the top of each in whatever pattern you like. Allow to set at room temperature until the frosting hardens and is firm to a light touch. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.