I ended up making about six different types of cookies over Christmas. However, being under a bit of a time crunch and needing a break from the Internet, I failed to blog about any of them. Sorry about that.
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon I thought this would be a good time to revisit one of my favorite cookies, but with a little twist. So, today I’m sharing a classic sugar cookie recipe with you. I feel that sugar cookies are a little like pie crust. Everyone has a favorite. Some people like them thicker; others prefer them thin. Some folks have to have them frosted; others just want a little sugar sprinkled on top. My dad likes his plain, thick, and heated up in the microwave. Today, I’m going to share my mom’s sugar cookie recipe that I’ve come to know and love. My great uunt also has a recipe for a much thicker cookie that I’ve actually never made. I will share that recipe as soon as I can get my hands on it.
When I was growing up, my mom, grandma, and I made these cookies every Christmas. My mom made the dough and was in charge of the rolling and baking. Grandma frosted the cookies and I decorated them. The frosting was always white and the decorations were always a variety of sprinkles. It was cold outside when we made them, so after they were frosted and decorated we’d put them on trays, cutting boards, and whatever else we could find and put them in the garage so the frosting could set before we packed them away. I always looked forward to that day. Always.
Nowadays, things have changed, I’m the one in charge of making the sugar cookies. And, while they are a tad time consuming, there’s something wonderfully nostalgic about them, so I’ll continue to make them with joy year after year.
However, this time around I decided to give them a fun little twist. A few months ago I bought a couple bottles of cotton candy extract (you can find it on Amazon) for another recipe which I ended up making. So, I thought I’d try out the extract in the recipe. While it doesn’t drastically alter the flavor, it definitely adds something different and delicious to these cookies. Plus, they smell even more heavenly than your typical sugar cookie.
I opted to add a little color to my frosting as well to emphasize the cotton candy theme.
The cookies turned out pretty cute, didn’t they? Of course, how can a sugar cookie covered in frosting with sprinkles on top be anything but cute.
If your mouth is watering, it’s understandable. Let me help you by showing you how to make them.
makes about 3 dozen cookies
Here's what you will need:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Crisco
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
Cotton Candy Frosting:
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup butter (softened)
5 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon cotton candy extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Food coloring (optional)
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together the Crisco, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined, add in half of the dry ingredients. Begin to mix and then add in the buttermilk. Then add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least four hours or overnight.
For the frosting, cream together the Crisco and butter. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar, alternating with the milk as necessary. Before completely combined add in the cotton candy extract and the vanilla extract. Food coloring can be added at this time as well. If you prefer a stronger flavor, add more extract until you achieve the desired flavor. More milk can be added if you feel the frosting is too thick. The frosting does not need to be refrigerated before use.
After your dough has properly chilled, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
On a well-floured surface, roll out about 1/4 of the dough. You'll want the dough to be about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick, depending on your preference. Cut the dough out with your favorite cookie cutters. Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until the first sign of browning appears on the surface of the cookie. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then add the frosting and sprinkles.
And that’s it.
I feel that part of making a good sugar cookie is practice. The first time I made them I rolled out my dough too thin and baked them for too long. They were about as crunchy as a Nilla Wafers. Just take your time and have patience.
Old family recipes are often based on weird factors like “how the dough feels” or “the right consistency of the frosting.” These things will make absolutely no sense until you do it a few times. And eventually it will make perfect sense. This is why our parents’ and grandparents’ recipes were always the best. They knew those secret little touches that were really never explained in the recipe.
Anywho, I really hope you enjoy this recipe! It was a pleasure sharing it with you. Happy baking, my friends!
By the way, the amazing cutting board above is from RedEnvelope. I’m kind of obsessed with it. You can check it out here.