Saturday, December 17, 2011

Soft Sugar Cookies with Frosting

I'll admit it. I'm a total sucker for those grocery store sugar cookies in the plastic container with different colored frosting for every imaginable holiday. Orange and black for Halloween? Yum. Red, white, and blue for Fourth of July? Don't mind if I do. Pink, white, and red for Valentine's Day? Do you even have to ask? Loaded with preservatives and artificial ingredients though, I'm sure they're not the greatest food in the world health-wise. And while I'm sure the home-made version isn't toooo much better for you, at least they are slightly more natural? Maybe? At least that's what I'm telling myself.

These cookies totally live up to their name is softness. They have a rich buttery taste, and are completely satisfying. And with the endless combinations of frosting and sprinkle colors, they can truly work for any holiday!

Soft Sugar Cookies with Frosting
Makes 24 cookies

For the cookies:
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoons of salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) of butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3 large eggs
5 teaspoons of vanilla extract
For the frosting:
4 cups of powdered sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
5 Tablespoons of milk (and more, if needed)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. 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. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Turn the mixer to low, and add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Place dough in non-metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for one hour. (I had some straggler dry ingredients at the bowl when I was done, if you do- don't mix them in with the dough.)

After the dough has chilled, scoop a heaping Tablespoon of dough into your hands and roll it into a ball. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and flatten the ball slightly with the bottom of a glass.  Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies 2-3 inches apart. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. You don't want to even let them get to a golden brown- and if so, just slightly. Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, place the confectioners sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and beat until smooth. Whisk in additional milk if icing is too thick, one teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Color frosting with gel food coloring, and frost cookies. Top with sprinkles, and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Adapted from Annie's Eats, original recipe here.

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