Crème Brûlée Cookies — Super SOFT sugar cookies topped with tangy cream cheese frosting and caramelized sugar!! If you’re a crème brûlée fan, you’re going to LOVE these cookies! So many INCREDIBLE flavors and textures in every bite!!
A Unique Christmas Cookie Recipe
I love crème brûlée. It’s hard to beat soft, rich, creamy custard topped with caramelized sugar. There is something so satisfying about breaking the caramelized sugar ‘seal,’ as I like to call it, with my spoon in search of the luscious custard that lies beneath.
But rather than make crème brûlée again, I made crème brûlée cookies. They’re elegant, fancy-tasting, rich, and decadent. They’re perfect cookies for holiday parties and events. I’m thinking New Year’s Eve.
The frosting is an easy cream cheese frosting and the tanginess complements both the cookies and the granulated sugar that you sprinkle on top of the frosting.
That sugar is what becomes caramelized after you brûlée it, or torch it.
What’s in the Crème Brûlée Cookies?
The cookies are made with both butter and oil. When baking cakes and muffins, I always prefer to use oil rather than butter because oil keeps them softer.
And the same held true for the crème brûlée sugar cookies – so darn soft. They almost melt in your mouth.
There are two kinds of sugars in the dough, but not the typical two kinds you’d think there would be, which would be white and brown sugar. Instead there’s white sugar along with confectioners’ sugar.
I added both vanilla and almond extracts. If you don’t keep almond extract on hand, don’t worry about it. But I love it in desserts and being that these cookies have such a mild and pure flavor (no nuts, no chocolate, no peanut butter, etc.) the almond extract is a nice touch.
The recipe calls for cream of tartar and I haven’t tried the recipe without it. It’s only a couple dollars and I recommend purchasing it because it will help the cookies bake up thicker.
How to Make Crème Brûlée Cookies
The cookie dough is very similar to your typical sugar cookie dough. Beat together the butter, sugars, and oil until combined, then add the remaining wet ingredients. The dry ingredients are added next.
Scoop the dough before chilling it for at least 2 hours. Once chilled, the cookie dough can be baked.
Let the cookies cool off before adding the cream cheese frosting. For that authentic crème brûlée flavor, sprinkle the tops with sugar and torch until golden.
Do I Have to Chill Cookie Dough?
Yes! You have to chill the dough before you bake the cookies so they don’t spread into flat discs. You want a sufficiently thick cookie and the way to achieve that is from a little chill time.
The dough is very soft from both the butter and oil (and not tons of flour, comparatively) so chilling it before baking is the only way to go here.
You don’t have to bake all the cookies at once and can save the dough in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 4 months before baking it off. That way you can have fresh cookies as often as you’d like.
Do I Need A Kitchen Torch?
Julia Child said that every woman needs a kitchen torch. And for this recipe, Julia was right. You do need a kitchen torch.
Using a broiler won’t work because you will melt/burn the frosting.
The one I have is this one. Amazon just told me that I bought it on Dec 27, 2013. It’s $25 but in doing a search for kitchen torches, I found dozens that are $15 to $20.
It’s one of those things that you may not use very often, but for the twice a year or so you need one, you’ll have it and it’s only 20 bucks. And then you can make this classic yet straightforward and easy crème brûlée and impress all of your friends and family.
Tips for Making Crème Brûlée Sugar Cookies
Don’t skip the cream of tartar. It adds a subtle tanginess to the dough and helps the cookies bake up nice and thick.
As is true with any cookies, don’t overbake them. The undersides will darken too much and they will dry out.
If you don’t have a kitchen torch and refuse to buy one, simply frost them cookies and eat them. I don’t recommend torching the cookies underneath your oven’s broiler, as that would likely melt the frosting.
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- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- one 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar, or as desired
- granulated sugar (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per cookie)
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) add the butter, oil, sugars, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and combined, about 4 minutes.
- Add the egg, extracts, and beat until combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and beat on low speed until just combined.
- Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, or your hands, form approximately 20 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten about halfway.
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I use a half-sheet pan and bake 8 cookies per sheet).
- Bake for about 8 minutes (if your cookies are smaller than mine, reduce baking time) or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool.
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet before frosting. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.
- While cookies are cooling, make the frosting.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) add the cream cheese, butter, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and fluffy, about 2 minutes
- Add 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar and beat to incorporate. If necessary, add additional confectioners' sugar to achieve desired frosting consistency.
- Add about 2 to 3 teaspoons frosting to the top of each cookie, spreading with a knife to smooth it.
- Sprinkle each cookie with about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon granulated sugar.
- Using a kitchen torch, brûlée the sugar on all the cookies. It will only take about 2 to 3 seconds per cookie. Serve immediately.
Storage: I am comfortable storing frosted cookies at room temp for up to 5 days but if you’re not, store them in the fridge noting they will be more prone to drying out.
Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
If baking straight from freezer with frozen dough, you don’t have to thaw it. Bake straight from freezer, possibly adding 1 to 2 minutes to baking time if necessary.
Extra frosting will keep airtight for at least 2 weeks in the fridge.
Cookies adapted from Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 126mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 0gSugar: 49gProtein: 3g
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