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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

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Yes, I know I posted a cookie recipe just yesterday. And now I’m back with another. Tomorrow you can expect something different, but then I've got a few more treats to share. All worth it, I promise! ‘Tis the season, right?

There are plenty of healthy recipes in the archives to carry you through until I start posting normal food again. Might I interest you in some butternut squash and kale minestrone, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and spinach over goat cheese polenta, or a Moroccan chicken salad with carrots?  That should scratch the ‘normal food’ itch.

Back to the dessert, and this is one you don’t want to miss!

I finished many, many lunches in high school with one of those soft frosted sugar cookies. You know the ones… bright pink frosting, multi-colored jimmies. Our school cafeteria sold them daily and most days I couldn’t resist picking one up as an after lunch treat. Since then, I’ve maybe had one or two…mostly because I now tend to bake cookies more than I buy them. I had seen several copycat recipes for them and when I unpacked my Christmas boxes and found an abundance of green and red sprinkles, I knew it was time to make them.

Although I didn’t make my quite as large as the recipe stated (original recipe is posted below though), they were pretty close to what I remembered. Take care not to overbake them—that’s the key to getting the right texture and flavor! Perfect circles, they are not, but judging by how quickly they disappeared when I served them, I’d say no one minded. Though I decorated these for Christmas, these would be a fabulous treat year-round! 

One Year Ago: Baked Vegetable Mac and Cheese
Two Years Ago: Ghirardelli Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
seen on Tracey's Culinary Adventures, originally from Hostess with the Mostest

-4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-4 1/2 tsp baking powder
-3/4 tsp salt
-3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-3 large eggs, at room tempearture
-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, if needed)
-food coloring & sprinkles (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (3 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
2. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture a little at a time, mixing just until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Remove dough from fridge and measure approximately 1/4 cup of dough for each cookie. Roll the doll into a ball, place on the cookie sheet, and flatten slightly (cookies will spread so don't flatten completely). Space cookies at least 2 inches apart.
5. Bake cookies 12-13 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just set (don't overbake or you'll ruin the texture!). Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks to cool for 5 minutes before moving cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
6. To make the frosting, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk in a large bowl. Whisk or beat to combine. If texture is too thick, add additional milk 1 tsp at a time (I didn't need to add any). Color frosting with food coloring, if desired. Spread frosting on cooled cookies and decorate as desired. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.