Okay, y’all, I love cookies. You know from my past posts that I make a holiday basket for my family and these were included in this year’s basket. A frosted sugar cookie is not only a very fun cookie, but it can take on different incarnations depending on the family. The cookie can be big and soft or thin and crispy, the frosting can be big and fluffy or thin icing or just a hint, barely a smear lightly coating the cookie.
My cookie is a sugar cookie recipe that has been in my family for more than thirty years and maybe even longer, not sure. It is my favorite, full of butter flavor. The frosting has a secret ingredient that I discovered in a bakery a few years ago that serves the best decorated sugar cookies that I have ever tasted, hands down. As I crooked my neck, as I do at all my favorite eating joints, to watch the lady in the back feverishly whipping together some frosting, I saw it, the golden key to what my frosting was missing… butter extract. I know, it sounds weird, but it is crazy good.
Anyway, if you are feeling in a festive mood, these cookies are a winner!
Frosted Sugar Cookies
¾ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
Frosting (recipe follows)
Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Divide dough in half; wrap in wax paper and chill at least 1 hour. (I make two tube like rolls so I can slice in ¼ inch slices.)
Place on lightly greased cookie sheets; bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Yields 3 dozen
1 cup butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
3-4 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon butter extract
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, butter extract, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk tablespoons one at a time.