Saturday, December 10, 2011

Frosted Sugar Puff Cookies

It's a tradition at my house to make Christmas cookies as a family at least once a year.  These scrumptious little treats were just perfect for the occasion - easy to make, quick to bake, fun to frost, and yummy to taste!  There are sprinkles everywhere, but it was totally worth it.
This recipe is adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and Cooks Illustrated.  These cookies are akin to sugar cookies, but are lighter and more tender.  The result is a lovely, moist, delicate puff that Santa would just love to find waiting for him on Christmas Eve.

Frosted Sugar Puff Cookies
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated & Brown Eyed Baker

Cookies -
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (plus a bit extra for shaping)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups sour cream OR plain yogurt

Frosting -
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp heavy cream
2 cups powdered sugar

Sprinkles or other decorations (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375°.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  For the Cookies: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

3.  Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat until smooth and creamy.

4.  Add the egg and vanilla to the bowl.  Beat until blended.  Add the sour cream or yogurt.  Beat until well mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the bowl.  Beat on low until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

6.  Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1" between each.  Using the bottom of a glass (or a meat pounder, measuring cup, or other flat-bottomed tool), slightly flatten each dough ball.  Dip the flattener in sugar between each press to prevent sticking.

7.  Bake the cookies for 5-7 minutes or until the bottoms are golden (tops should still be pale, but set).  Do not over-bake.  Immediately transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.

8.  For the Frosting: beat the butter in a stand mixer until it is smooth and creamy.  Add the vanilla and cream and beat until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy.

9.  Frost the cooled cookies.  Decorate as desired.

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