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Frosted Sugar Cookies – A Classic Christmas Cookie Recipe

Who can resist classic Frosted Sugar Cookies, especially around the holidays? As much as I love the fancy, decorated, Cut Out Cookies, there are times when I want a softer sugar cookie that won’t crumble when I take a bite.

I am talking about those soft, almost cake-like sugar cookies that are generously iced and topped with the perfect amount of seasonal sprinkles.

At the grocery store you can find them any time of the year packaged upright in those iconic clear containers. You can find them with red icing for Valentine’s day, orange and black sprinkles for Halloween, and of course the familiar red and green colors for the Christmas season.

However, for the same cost of a dozen store-bought cookies, you can make several dozen right at home. And what better time to share this recipe than the holiday cookie baking season.

frosted sugar cookies

So as those cookie exchanges begin, why not impress everyone with your own Lofthouse style sugar cookies?

Just be prepared to make them every year, and every holiday, because you will be asked to make them over and over again! They are that good!

Frosted Sugar Cookies Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.

Yield – approximately 5-6 dozen. If you are looking for a smaller batch of cookies, simply decrease the measurements by half and keep the baking time the same.

INGREDIENTS

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Sour cream

Icing Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Heavy cream
  • Food coloring – optional
  • Sprinkles – optional

INSTRUCTIONS

The fIrst step in making these frosted sugar cookies is to combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Therefore, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to the bowl and whisk until well combined.

*Whisking takes the place of sifting the flour, as it breaks up any clumps that would cause uneven cooking. I find it much easier to whisk the dry ingredients rather than using a sifter, however the choice is up to you.

Set the dry ingredients aside and prepare the wet ingredients.

cream butter and sugar
Be sure to start with room temperature butter before you attempt to mix the butter and sugar together.

In the bowl of a stand mixer use the paddle attachment or use a hand mixer to cream the room temperature butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Be patient as this process takes about 5-7 minutes for the butter and sugar to cream together. Instead of stopping the mixer when you can no longer see sugar crystals, keep mixing until it has almost doubled in size and it has lightened to a very pale yellow color.

Then turn the mixer off and add the eggs, one at a time. Continue to mix on medium speed until each egg is just incorporated into the butter/sugar mixture. Be sure not to over mix the eggs here.

After the last egg has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract and sour cream. Then beat at low speed until well combined.

Mix The Dry Ingredients With The Wet Ingredients

Now it is time to slowly add the dry ingredients for the frosted sugar cookies into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. Start by adding 1/3rd of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat at low speed until just combined.

Then repeat the process two more times until all of the dry ingredients have been added. As you continue to mix be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Once everything has been combined and is mixed well remove the dough from the bowl and place on a clean, floured surface. The frosted sugar cookie dough will be a little sticky, but that is completely normal.

Form the dough into a large circle or oval. Then divide the dough into two even sections.

Form each section into ovals that are approximately 1½ inches thick. Then wrap each piece with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours or up to overnight.

Form The Cookies

When you are ready to make your frosted sugar cookies, remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven.

Now prepare a clean work space by lightly flouring the surface. Then sprinkle a little flour on top of one section of the cookie dough.

Rolling Pin Method:

Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Then use a round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut the cookies into circles.

Carefully transfer the cut out cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, leaving at least 1 inch space between the cookies. Then proceed with the baking instructions listed below.

Hand Forming

I find it much easier to use my hands to form the cookies into circles. Simply gather enough cookie dough to make a ball, about the size of a golf ball.

Flour your clean hands and roll the dough into a balls. At this time you can roll the balls in granulated sugar if you prefer, but this step is completely optional. Then place the balls, at least 3 inches apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

To form the frosted sugar cookies, use the bottom of a greased, round measuring cup or a smooth bottom glass and press each dough ball so that it flattens to about 1/4 inch in thickness.

flattened sugar cookie dough
Use the back of measuring cup or a glass cup to flatten out the sugar cookie dough balls.

Baking Instructions

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges.

The cookies will look slightly under baked, however, once they come out of the oven they will continue to set. This is the key to keeping the cookies soft after they have cooled.

Once the cookies have been removed from the oven, carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Wait no longer than a few minutes to remove them from the hot surface to prevent over baking.

Let the cookies cool completely before icing.

Frosting Instructions

While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a medium bowl for the use with a hand mixer.

Start by mixing the softened butter and vanilla extract. Then slowly beat in the powdered sugar and a pinch of salt.

Once smooth and creamy, add in the heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. Then continue to beat at medium-high speed for a minute or two until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Now you can add your choice of food coloring, if desired, and beat until combined. Otherwise, use the frosting as is to decorate the sugar cookies.

cookies on a tray
Because the icing does not harden completely when cooled, it is best to store these cookies in a single layer.

When the cookies have completely cooled, spread the frosting on top of each cookie and immediately add the sprinkles, if desired so they can stick to the frosting.

I prefer to frost a few cookies at a time and add the sprinkles as I go to help prevent the frosting from getting hard before I can add the sprinkles.

Let the frosted sugar cookies sit at room temperature until the frosting has become slightly hardened. The frosting is designed to be a little soft so when you go to store them in an air-tight container it is best to do so in a single layer.

That is why you find the cookies stacked in an upright position at the grocery store. However, you can flash freeze them on a cooled baking sheet and store them stacked in the freezer. Just be sure to place a piece of wax paper between the layers.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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Yield: 5-6 dozen

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Soft sugar cookies frosted with icing and sprinkled with seasonal sprinkles.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Food coloring - optional
  • Sprinkles - optional, but who can resist!

Cookie Ingredients

  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer use the paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients by adding 1/3rd at a time, and beat at low speed until just combined. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl during the process. Dough will be a little sticky.
  4. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into ovals about 1½ inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or for at least two hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  6. Lightly flour the countertop and the top of the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Or simply roll the dough into balls the size of golf balls. Use the bottom of a greased measuring cup to flatten the dough until the cookies are 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are slightly golden around the edges - it may not seem that they are fully baked, but they will continue to set once they are removed from the oven. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  8. While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting by using the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream together the butter and vanilla extract. Slowly beat in powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at medium-high speed for a minute or two until light and fluffy. Add food coloring, if desired, and beat until combined.
  9. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles, if desired. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container in a single layer.

Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

72

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 47mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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