Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

My daughter finds very few things in this world as enjoyable as decorating cookies.  And while I agree it can be a lot of fun, it can also be a bit of work.  Before I know there are 50 cookie cutter out because we couldn’t decide which shapes to make.. bowls of colored frosting everywhere.. and the sprinkles.  Ohhhhh, the sprinkles.
But since we do enjoy it and end up having enough fun to be worth the mess, I’ll keep doing it.  But sometimes these are a great compromise.  The kids still get to frost them and get out the sprinkles, but no cutters are involved, and they are MUCH quicker to make.
But besides that, they’re just plain good.  These are super buttery and soft and taste like a cookie you would buy at a nice bakery.  I love that the frosting hardens up pretty good as well, without getting too crunchy.
That makes them great to give as a gift since they can be stacked without getting messy.


For cookies:

4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 T vanilla extract (or 1-2 T vanilla bean paste)

For frosting:
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 T) unsalted butter, melted
1 T vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
1/2 cup milk (plus more if needed)
food coloring, optional

Make cookies: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix for 2-3 minutes, beating until soft and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Then mix in the vanilla.
Add dry ingredients on low speed, mixing just until incorporated.
Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

For large cookies: scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll into a ball.  Flatten slightly and place on prepared baking sheets, 2-3 inches apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes or jsut until set.  The edges should be just slightly browned if at all.  Let cool on baking sheet for several minutes, then cool on a wire rack completely.
For small cookies: Follow above directions, except make balls about 2 T in size and bake for about 8 minutes.

Make frosting: Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
Add butter, vanilla, and milk and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in more milk if needed, 1 tsp at a time, to desired consistency.  Color if desired.
Spread on cooled cookies.  If frosting thickens too much, just add a small amount of milk to make workable.  Store in an airtight container.

Recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats


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