I love books. I love wine. I love soft sugar cookies with frosting. That being said, there is something magical about a situation that combines all three.
After shamelessly inviting myself to a book club meeting that a friend was hosting last year, I discovered that this particular club was less about books and more about drinking wine and having a good time. Fine by me! There is no guilt when you don’t finish the book, if you never bought it in the first place, or even if you don’t remember which book was chosen for the month. Perfect for a mom of a busy toddler who is lucky to get to read anything more advanced than a princess storybook these days.
I took a platter of these soft frosted sugar cookies with me to that first book club meeting and I’m pretty sure they are the reason I keep getting invited back. What else can I say about these cookies? They are soft… they are frosted… they are a good vehicle for sprinkles. Oh, and they don’t have all the nasty preservatives and artificial flavorings that the grocery store varieties contain.
If you are hosting a party, these cookies offer the added benefits of having do-ahead components and being easily customizable for any event. Make the dough ahead of time and freeze it. While you’re at it, whip up the frosting and store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to assemble the cookies, mix up custom frosting colors to match your event color palette and top them with coordinating sprinkles. You never have to have cookies that don’t match your partyware again! Ok, that’s taking things a bit too far… but you get the idea!
Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
5 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the frosting:
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3-4 Tablespoons milk
food coloring (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt).
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until combined and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until the first is thoroughly combined before adding the next.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and stir on low until fully incorporated.
- Cover the dough and chill for at least an hour.
- Scoop up about 3 tablespoons of chilled cookie dough and roll it into a ball (I like to use a food scoop for this step). Flatten the ball slightly with your hand and place them on the prepared cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart.
- Bake one tray at a time in the center of the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes or just until set. It’s crucial that you don’t over bake these cookies. You want to just barely start to see browning around the edges and they might seem almost uncooked in the center. Take them out! Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet to let them firm up before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
- To make the frosting, place the powdered sugar in a bowl and add in the melted butter, vanilla, and 3 Tablespoons of milk. Whisk everything together until smooth, adding more milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you get a spreadable consistency.
- Tint with food coloring if desired.
- Spread frosting onto the cookies using an offset spatula or a spreader.
- Top with sprinkles if you want. I’ve listed this step as optional, but it really should be mandatory!
- Let the frosting firm up before trying to stack your cookies. Store in an airtight container.
Do-ahead Note: Cookie dough can be made ahead of time and frozen. Shape your cookies and freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When completely frozen, remove them from the pan and store in a freezer bag or an airtight container in your freezer. When you are ready to bake them, put them in the oven directly out of the freezer. You may need to increase the baking time by a minute or two, but watch them closely to avoid over baking. The frosting can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Allow the frosting to come to room temperature before using it and add small amounts of milk to adjust the consistency if necessary.
slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats