Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Every time I walk into my local Waldbaum's I see these wonderful looking cookies. They're soft and chewy sugar cookies frosted with bright and vibrant frosting. They look so adorable and festive, especially when topped with sprinkles. Each time I want to buy a pack and devour them all...but my conscience tells me not to, so I listen to it.

But one day, when I was home with nothing to do, I had the greatest desire to make these festive treats. So I did. And they were delicious. They're chewy, soft, and not overly sweet. The frosting adds just the right amount of flavor. Let's face it...frosting makes everything better. Just like bacon.

I wish I could say that this is my own original recipe, but sadly it is not. I borrowed this recipe from the lovely Annie of Annie's Eats. I love her blog and her recipes are easy and delicious. She's also an excellent photographer. The pictures she takes make her food look just that much more delectable.

Well, I guess it's time for the recipe. It's extremely simple, but it requires that you chill the cookies for 1 hour. I know, I know. A whole extra hour of waiting is needed in order to dig into these cookies. You must resist temptation, however, because the chill-time is what gives these cookies such great texture.

Frosted Sugar Cookies
makes about 2 dozen cookies

4½ cups all-purpose flour
4½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract

for 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.

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 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.

If you do choose to make these cookies, which I highly recommend you do, don't share them with your friends. You'll never be able to taste one. They'll sell out instantly. Trust me, I made that mistake. They're absolutely delicious and buttery. You won't be able to make them just once.

Happy Baking!

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