It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since I’ve updated this blog. I know, I know – for shame! But hey, let’s not dwell on how lazy (or in this case, pregnant) I’ve been and just get right back to the baking, eh?
With the holiday season in full swing, and my due date only 7 weeks away, I’ve got cookies on my mind almost constantly. Craving cookies. Baking cookies. Eating cookies. Eating more cookies. Eating all.the.cookies.
And with these little beauties in the kitchen, who can blame me? These cut-out sugar cookies are the softest and most delicious I’ve ever made (or eaten), and best of all, they’re a snap to throw together for even a novice baker. While I spent a great deal of time, energy and effort on frosting and decorating these snowflakes – and admittedly made a pretty big mess in my dining room in the process, oops! – the frosting is actually easy for even the littlest of cookie decorators to mix and use. This is the perfect cookie recipe for a baking day with your kiddos any time of year!
Credit for these cookies, and for the delectable icing they’re smothered in, goes to Sally’s Baking Addiction and allrecipes.com, respectively. I’ve made this recipe on multiple occasions and have had great results each and every time!
FROSTED HOLIDAY SUGAR COOKIES
Yields: 18-20 cookies
For the cookies:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large fresh egg, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the frosting:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsp milk
- 2 tsp light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
To make cookies:
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter (which should be slightly softened but not melted) until creamy and smooth – approximately 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combined, about 2 minutes, continuing to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, add one tablespoon of flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment paper to approximately 1/4-inch thickness. Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. (Note: Chilling is mandatory! If chilling for more than a couple of hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper.)
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The amount of batches will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. The secret to the soft, tender centers in these cookies is underbaking; remove from the oven as soon as they look “set” and are very lightly colored around the edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- After the cookies have cooled, frost using the instructions below. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
To make frosting:
- In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
- Divide into separate bowls, and add food coloring to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush, and apply sprinkles or edible ornamentation as desired. Allow to set before eating or storing.