Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lofthouse style soft frosted sugar cookies


My mom gave me an awesome compliment the other week. I was telling her how I had just made my very first batch of homemade pasta (thanks, Mom Lu for the pasta cutter/roller!). Her comment was that she was proud of me for making more things from scratch and eating more "clean." Subconsciously, I knew that this is what I was doing, but consciously,  it wasn't something that I was purposely doing. Actually, come to think of it, it's fun making things from scratch. I know exactly what ingredients are in my food and know what I am putting into my body.

One popular cookie that I tend to see at potlucks and parties alike are soft frosted sugar cookies. You know the ones I'm talking about - they practically melt in your mouth and have a layer of frosting and are often decorated with sprinkles. Yup, those ones. Well, would you be surprised if I tell you that they probably contain preservatives and numerous amounts of unhealthy (and unpronounceable) ingredients?

Well, this homemade version should solve the dilemma.  These Lofthouse-style cookies have been popping up on blogs everywhere, and I am just getting around to making them. These were amazingly soft and pillowy with a smooth and sweet frosting on top. The cookies alone were barely sweet on their own, so the frosting was definitely needed--at least for a sweet tooth like me. My family and friends quickly gobbled these up, so there were no leftovers to spare.

Soft frosted sugar cookies
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 tsp vanilla extract
Directions
In a large bowl, sift or mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer), cream the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Individually add the eggs until they are fully incorporated. Make sure to stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as needed.  Add in the vanilla and mix.

Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients.  Beat until incorporated (do not overmix).

Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.  Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Scoop about 1/4 cup of dough (I used a medium cookie scoop) and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly with your spatula and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment (I used my imitation Silpat).  Repeat with the remaining dough, and space the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart to allow them to spread.

Bake at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes or just until set.  Do not overbake!  The cookies should be stay very white on top and be lightly browned underneath.

Cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting
  • 2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)
Frosting directions
In the bowl of a stand stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer), beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.

Slowly add the powdered sugar and salt.  Beat on medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Turn the mixer back on medium speed and beat until the mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds.

Stop the mixer again and add vanilla. Turn the mixer back on medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice as needed.

If you want too add in food coloring to tint your frosting, do it now.  Mix until it is well combined and is one solid color. Generously apply frosting to top of cookies and top with sprinkles if desired.

Yield: About 32 medium sized cookies

Source: Just Baked; originally from Annie's Eats

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