These are the best homemade Soft Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies ever! This easy recipe has a life-changing hack to make the dough so simple to roll out.
Cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy; about 3-4 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, vital wheat gluten, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Add the eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and orange zest to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until incorporated.
Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined and the dough is smooth.
Place a large sheet of parchment on your counter, and tear off three additional pieces the same size. Set aside. Flour your hands and divide dough into half.
Flour the first piece of parchment well, and place half of the dough in the middle. Flour the top of the dough. Work the dough with your hands to lightly press it out in all directions. Place another piece of parchment over the dough. Using a rolling pin over the parchment, roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Place on a large baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough and the other sheets of parchment, stacking the rolled dough/parchment sheets on the same baking sheet. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and place racks in the top third of the oven.
Remove the stacks of parchment, and work with one sheet at a time. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Using cookie cutters lightly dipped in flour, cut out your desired shapes. I find once you have pressed the dough with the cookie cutter, if you wiggle the cutter a bit it will create space to make the shape easy to remove and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Continue flouring and rolling the scraps of dough until all the dough has been made into cookies.
If you want to use sprinkles and no frosting, add them to the dough prior to baking.
Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the edges have turned the slightest brown. Allow cookies to sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Decorate as desired. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Dough is very sticky right after it is made. Make sure the parchment and top of the dough are well-floured prior to rolling between the pieces of parchment.
If you are planning to use traditional flour, there is no need to add the vital wheat gluten to the dough.
Feel free to sub in lemon zest for the orange.
Recipe inspired by The Slow Roasted Italian.