Frosted Sugar Cookies Recipe
There’s something truly magical about the simplicity of frosted sugar cookies. These sweet treats are a timeless favorite, bringing joy to people of all ages. Whether you’re baking for a special occasion, a holiday celebration, or just to satisfy your sweet tooth, frosted sugar cookies are a delightful choice. In this article, we’ll explore a classic frosted sugar cookies recipe that promises to deliver a perfect balance of sweetness and tenderness.
For the cookies:
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
- Food coloring (optional)
- Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Prepare the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar: In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. This can be done using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
- Add the wet ingredients: Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract (if using) until well combined.
- Incorporate the dry ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix.
- Chill the dough: Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape each into a disk. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Chilling the dough helps it firm up, making it easier to handle and preventing excessive spreading during baking.
- Roll and cut the cookies: Preheat the oven again if necessary. Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and place them on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies: Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed to achieve the desired consistency. Optionally, divide the frosting into separate bowls and add food coloring for a vibrant touch.
- Frost the cookies: Once the cookies are completely cooled, spread or pipe the frosting onto the cookies. Allow the frosting to set before storing or serving.
Variations and Tips for Customization:
- Lemon Zest Twist: For a citrusy kick, add the zest of one lemon to the cookie dough. The bright and fresh flavor will complement the sweetness of the frosting and add a delightful twist.
- Sprinkle Magic: Before baking, sprinkle colored sugar, nonpareils, or festive sprinkles onto the cookies. This not only adds a burst of color but also a delightful crunch.
- Chocolate Drizzle: For a decadent touch, melt some chocolate (white, milk, or dark) and drizzle it over the frosted cookies. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.
- Seasonal Shapes: Use seasonal cookie cutters to shape your cookies. Hearts for Valentine’s Day, pumpkins for Halloween, or snowflakes for winter – the possibilities are endless.
- Almond Glaze: Enhance the almond flavor by adding a splash of almond extract to the frosting. This subtle addition adds depth and richness to the overall taste.
- Sandwich Cookies: Make sandwich cookies by spreading a layer of frosting between two cookies. This creates a delightful treat with a creamy center.
- Custom Colored Frosting: Experiment with different food coloring to achieve a spectrum of hues for your frosting. Pastels, bold colors, or even ombre effects can add an extra layer of visual appeal.
Storage and Serving Suggestions:
- Storing Unfrosted Cookies: If you’re planning to frost the cookies later, store the unfrosted cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Layer them with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Freezing: Both the cookie dough and baked cookies freeze well. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Baked cookies can be frozen in a single layer, separated by parchment paper, and stored in a freezer-friendly container.
- Frosted Cookie Storage: Once frosted, let the cookies sit for a few hours to allow the frosting to set. Store frosted cookies in a single layer or with parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking. They can be stored at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.
- Gifting Homemade Delights: Package your frosted sugar cookies in decorative boxes or jars for a thoughtful and delicious homemade gift. Tie a ribbon around the container for an extra festive touch.
In conclusion, frosted sugar cookies are a versatile canvas for creativity in the kitchen. Whether you enjoy them plain, with colorful sprinkles, or drizzled with chocolate, these cookies are bound to be a crowd-pleaser. Have fun experimenting with different flavors and decorations, and savor the joy of sharing these delightful homemade treats with friends and family.