Monday, July 25, 2011

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

I am always on the look out for the best sugar cookie. In fact, this is probably my third or fourth sugar cookie recipe on my blog. I guess I am always on the hunt for the perfect soft sugar cookie, and thanks to annie's-eats for posting this recipe, I think I have found it!

These cookies are everything a sugar cookie should be: soft, flavorful, easy, delicious. Probably not the best cut out sugar cookies, but that's another thing I like about this recipe, you don't have to worry about cutting them into shapes, scooping them onto the sheet is good enough. This recipe definitely ranks up there with one of my faves. I really think I should make every sugar cookie recipe I have one day, do a taste test and really see which one is my favorite:)

I did a few things different. I am out of vanilla (I know! Blasphemy!) so I had to be creative. Instead of vanilla I added a half-teaspoon of butter-vanilla bakery emulsion and a half-teaspoon almond emulsion (emulsions are more flavorful than extracts and don't cook out when baked). I also halved the recipe, which was a smart move on my part because it probably would have been scary how many I would have eaten if they were around. One day I will have self-control when it comes to sweets. One day:)

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Yield: about 2 dozen large cookies
For the cookies:
4½ cups all-purpose flour
4½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
Food coloring (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk together to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes or just until set. (Do not overbake! The edges should be no more than very lightly browned if at all.) Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To frost the cookies, place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Tint with food coloring if desired. Use an offset spatula or spoon to frost the cooled cookies. (If the frosting begins to thicken as you decorate, just continue to whisk in small amounts of milk to keep it workable.) Top with sprinkles if desired. Store in an airtight container.

Source: adapted from Hostess with the Mostess

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