Frosted Sugar Cookies

Perfect Sugar Cookies | Kailley's Kitchen

Back in August, I brought you the perfect chocolate chip cookies recipe (according to my biased view, of course). It’s time to revisit the art of perfecting cookies.

Today’s focus: perfect, classic frosted sugar cookies.

What makes the ideal sugar cookie (according to Kailley’s Kitchen)?

  • soft, light texture
  • flavorful undertones, like lemon, almond, and/or vanilla bean
  • moist, buttery, and not too “cake-y”
  • frosting that hardens without becoming crunchy and stiff
  • whimsical colors, shapes, and toppings

That said, it’s not always easy to find a recipe that gets your the exact results you’re looking for. And even if you do, there are certain traps and hangups that can leave your sugar cookie endeavor looking less like a success and whole lot more like this:

An ill-fated cookie.

An ill-fated cookie.

Ever been plagued by the spreading cut-out cookie curse? If you have, then you understand how frustrating it is when, after an hour of rolling out dough and shaping cookies, you pull the cookies out of the oven and they look like mere shadows of their pre-baked selves. That svelte Thoroughbred ends up like an overfed Clydesdale, the Valentine’s Day heart looks like said Clydesdale sat on it, and the snow man gained a few extra fat rolls.

To ensure that you get that picture-perfect cookie every time, make sure you heed my advice:

  • Don’t over-mix the dough. Doing so might cause the cookies to become crumbly and dry once baked
  • Chill dough for AT LEAST 2-3 hours. Any less may cause the dough to spread in the oven, resulting in thin, brittle, misshaped cookies
  • Don’t be afraid of using plenty of flour when rolling out dough. The following recipe has a high butter content, which means it will be a bit sticky when trying to roll out.
  • Use flavor enhancers (zest, extracts, vanilla beans, etc), but don’t get too heavy handed. Subtle flavors speak volumes, and add a delicate touch to an otherwise run-of-the-mill cookie.

Think of these as a lighter, less cake-y rendition of those beautifully addictive Lofthouse cookies available at your local grocery store.

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Perfect Sugar Cookies || KailleysKitchen.com

Frosted Sugar Cookies | KailleysKitchen.com

Perfect Sugar Cookies || KailleysKitchen.com

 

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

    For the cookies:
  • 3/4 cups (1.5 sticks) butter, softened (NOT melted)
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the icing:
  • 3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Few drops food coloring of choice

Instructions

  1. Cream together butter and sugars in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy
  2. Add eggs, mix well
  3. Add vanilla and almond extracts and mix
  4. Add lemon zest and mix
  5. Add baking powder, salt, and half of the flour, mix well
  6. Add remaining half of flour and mix until fully incorporated
  7. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours
  8. After dough has been chilled, remove from refrigerater
  9. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
  10. Dust counter with powdered sugar (or flour, but I prefer the sugar for a little extra zing of sweetness) and roll out dough with a rolling pin
  11. Use cookie cutters to cut rolled dough into shapes and carefully lift onto parchment-lined baking sheet
  12. Bake for 7-8 minutes (they won't turn golden brown on top, but trust me, they're done!)
  13. Allow cookies to cool completely on a wire rack
  14. While cookies are cooling, add pasteurized egg whites, vanilla, and almond extract to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment
  15. Whisk on high until frothy, then slowly add confectioners' sugar
  16. Beat until icing forms peaks, about 8 minutes
  17. Ice cookies, add sprinkles if desired
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Comments

    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      Thank you, Pam! I still have so much to learn about blogging (and baking and photography!), but I’m having fun every step of the way!

  1. says

    YES. These are definitely a perfect sugar cookie. And since you and I both think that, it means that clearly we are right! (Some logic, huh?) My favorite recipe on my site also uses some almond extract in the cookies and the icing – you’re so right about how those extra flavors really enhance the final cookie. Yum, so good!

    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      Yes ma’am!! I have an enduring love affair with almond extract. I’m convinced just about any baked good can benefit from a little bit added into the mix! =)

    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      Thanks, Dina! That horse picture cracks me up every time I look at it, without fail. I came across it a couple years ago, and it’s still one of my favorites!

  2. says

    I just pulled these out of the oven, and they’re soooo tasty. I haven’t made the icing yet so I can’t vouch for that, but I can already say that these are wonderful just by how easy they were, and how tasty they are on their own! Definitely going to add this recipe to my collection.

  3. says

    Hi Kailley,

    Quick question for you, my son and I are making these for Christmas to send to my sister in Colorado. We live in Minnesota and I’m wondering if you have any shipping suggestions so that the cookies stay in one piece with frosting intact!

    Thanks for your help,

    Adrienne

    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      Hi Adrienne! The frosting on these cookies hardens up pretty nicely, so shipping them shouldn’t be too much of an issue. I’d recommend packing them in an air-tight container– add a layer of parchment paper in between each cookie layer, cover the top layer of cookies with an additional piece of parchment paper, and use wadded up newspaper or paper towels to fill any remaining space at the top of the container. The parchment paper will keep the cookies from sticking together, and the paper towels will prevent the cookies from sliding around and getting damaged inside the container! Next Day or 2-Day shipping options would probably be best as well, that way your sister can enjoy the cookies while they’re still fresh. I hope this helps! Please feel free to drop a line with any additional questions– I hope you all enjoy the cookies, and happy holidays!

    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      I actually just buy a container of pasteurized egg whites at the grocery store– they should be in the same general area as the eggs! And the cookie dough can absolutely be frozen– I’d stay for 1.5-2 months or so. Congrats on your wedding, and I hope these cookies will make a wonderful addition to your celebration! :)

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