Are you doing any baking for Valentine's Day? I just love the excuse to indulge in pretty pink and pastel confections. I truly believe that a cookie or cupcake tastes better if it's iced with pink frosting. That is one of the reasons, I love (LOVE) these cookies. Delicious soft baked sugar cookies topped with a buttercream frosting in your choice of colors-- so pink it was for Valentine's Day. Yes, I know this recipe has been all over the food blogs, but that must mean they are really good right? I saw these last year on Smell's Like Home's incredible blog and made them soon after. They quickly became one of my favorite cookie recipes to bake.
If you are a fan of the grocery store-style soft frosted sugar cookies, then you will love having this recipe so you can make your own homemade version when the mood strikes! I like making these with different tinted frosting for the various holidays, and they're great to make for birthdays or showers in the guest of honor's favorite colors. For Valentine's Day, I used AmeriColor Gel Paste in Deep Pink to make different shades of pink.
This is a busy and festive food week-- Sunday starts things off with Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, and Valentine's Day is Thursday. Sounds like a perfect week to me! Happy eating everyone!
For the cookies:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting:
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
6-7 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
Food coloring (optional)
1. To make the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk together to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients mixing until just incorporated and evenly mixed. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.
3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, scoop a scant 1/4 cup of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes or just until set. Do not overbake! The edges should be no more than lightly browned at the most. Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. To frost the cookies, place 4 cups of the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. If the frosting is too loose to frost the cookies with, whisk in more sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. Tint with food coloring if desired. Use an offset spatula or spoon to frost cooled cookies. If the frosting begins to thicken as you decorate, just continue to whisk in small amounts of milk to keep it workable. Top with sprinkles if using. Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Smells Like Home and Cook Like a Champion