When it comes to baking cookies, I'm a little hit or miss. I've got the chocolate chip cookies down pat, and can whip up a batch of Beau's favorites in less than an hour's time. But when it comes to sugar cookies, especially the rolled, floured, cut-out, and frost kind, I'm a little less confident. I've tried many different techniques and recipes over the years, and have always run into different issues with each. Some are too flat, some too dry, and some require a lot of flour and a lot more patience to roll, cut, and un-stick from my working surface. Making these beloved sugar cookies is quite a time commitment, and when they don't turn out as you had planned, well, it leads to major repercussions like deciding to forgo it all together this Christmas and bake two patches of chocolate chip instead.
That is...until now.
I've finally hit the jackpot in the sugar cookie department, and have had nothing but success with these little dreams. They are fluffy and moist, easy to roll out, and they taste like freshly baked corner bakery cookies. I've decided that Christmas is busy enough and have plans to make the sugar cookie thing a tradition for love month instead. One heart cookie cutter, some red food coloring, and some pink sprinkles go a long way with these festive little treats.
The key ingredient to these cookies is sour cream. It's the one ingredient I've never tried before, so I'm assuming it makes all the difference. I've included the recipe for the cookies, as well as my absolute favorite cookie icing from my mama.
Ingredients: (yield - about 3-4 dozen, depending on the size of your cookie cutter)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. almond extract
6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine sour cream, sugar, butter, eggs, and almond. Beat for 2-3 minutes on medium speed.
3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to sugar/butter mixture and mix well.
4. Dough will appear wet and sticky. Let the dough chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
5. Flour your work space liberally. Roll out portions of dough (I usually start with about a quarter of my dough, and use cookie cutters to make shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake until light golden brown, about 9-11 minutes. When you take them out they will seem underdone. Let them cool on the pan before transferring them to a storage container or cooling rack.
And now for the frosting...
1/2 cup white shortening (I use Crisco sticks)
2 cups powdered sugar
a generous splash of milk
1 tsp. almond extract
red food coloring for red and pink frosting
The best thing about this frosting is that it's very forgiving! Start with your base, mix with an electric mixer until combined, then add what you need for the consistency you desire. If it's too runny, add more powdered sugar; not runny enough, add a little milk. I almost always end up using more powdered sugar to get a light, fluffy frosting.
I have the best luck when I wait to frost my cookies until the next the day. Just make sure they have time to cool completely, as you don't want them falling apart on you when you frost.
Speaking of frosting...
What did I ever do without the help of this little soul...
What are your favorite holiday treats for Valentine's Day? Don't forget to link up your Valentine's posts here :)