Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lofthouse style soft sugar cookies

There's this cookie store in Indiana called Blondie's Cookies that sells these delicious, rich hybrid shortbread/sugar cookies that are covered in a vanilla buttercream icing and topped with sprinkles. Not surprisingly, they're called "Sprinkles" cookies. These cookie shops are ONLY in Indiana so whenever I go home to visit family, I try to stop into the cookie shop and pick up some of the cookies that I crave once I leave. Ever since trying those cookies, I've tried sugar cookie recipe after sugar cookie recipe looking for the one that replicates Blondie's version. They were all too hard, not sweet enough, not rich enough, and just not right. Then, I saw one of my favorite bloggers, Brown Eyed Baker, post her recipe for Lofthouse style cookies. You know, those uber-soft cookies they sell in the bakeries of grocery stores, usually covered in some fluourescent colored icing? I figured I'd give them a try and see how close they come.

Long story short. They work! While not exactly the same as Blondies, they'll certainly satisfy my craving. These cookies puff up wonderfully. They are super soft and still rich. Not too sweet, but not too plain either. And, oddly, they actually taste better the day after you make them! So resist the urge to stuff your face with these the night you make them.

One tip when making these...make sure your dough is COLD. It will make rolling these out so much easier because the dough is quite sticky. And, to make it easier to roll out once the dough has chilled, flatten out into a rectangle before putting into the fridge. I made these cookies on christmas day using cookie cutters, and the dough worked very well for cut cookies! I would not hesitate to use this recipe for all my future sugar cookie needs.

Ingredients, as written on Brown Eyed Baker (makes 5-6 dozen cookies):
For the Cookies:

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream


For the Easy Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream


Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1½ inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  5. Flour the countertop and the top of the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Cook cookies completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and the pinch of salt. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at medium-high speed for a minute or two until light and fluffy. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined.
  7. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

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