February 10, 2014

Frosted Sugar Cookies for Valentines Day

A while ago a frosted sugar cookie recipe was bouncing around on the internet. I try really hard to give a recipe a shot before I modify it but I'm kind of particular about how I make my cookies. I baked them as is and then a couple more times with my modifications. This is now a tried and true, man, woman, and child approved recipe around here. These cookies are easy to make, cute, and totally happy. The frosting has a little tang from the sour cream and perfectly compliments the slightly sandy yet tender cookie texture.

I added one drop of red food coloring to the frosting to make it the lightest pink. With that, a giant red heart sprinkle from the local cake store, and some edible glitter, these were the cutest little valentines cookies- without the painstaking piping that I love but can't work up the will to do most days. I served these to a crowd of men and not one of them whined about the color (and most clamored for more). These would be so easy to modify- add some extracts to the cookies or frosting to change up the flavors. I might have to make a green minty version for St. Patrick's Day!

Frosted Sugar Cookies aka Swig Cookies
from Anne Strawberry

1 cup Butter (plain shortening is fine, I do this for my dairy free husband sometimes although butter is best)
3/4 cup Canola Oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoons Milk or Cream (whatever you have on hand)
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (for table salt use 1/2 teaspoon)
5 cups Flour (as needed- start with 4 1/2)
2 tablespoons Sugar, for flattening the cookies

Cream together the butter, oil, and sugars. Mix in milk, cream, and vanilla until smooth and incorporated. Add dry ingredients and mix gently- adding flour as needed. The texture should be soft but not too wet, just like snickerdoodle or chocolate chip cookie dough. Be careful not to overmix the cookies once the dry ingredients are added or the cookies will be tough. Scoop the cookies onto the cookie sheet with a stainless steel cookie scoop onto a Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet. Smoosh the cookies down a little bit using a flat bottomed glass or measuring cup dipped in water then sugar (this is optional but will leave a little sugary crust on top and some cute ruffled edges). Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes until the edges barely start to brown. Don't overbake- these will get a little harder as they cool. Frost with sour cream frosting using a butter knife or offset spatula. These will keep at room temperature for a couple days, tightly covered.

Sour Cream Frosting
1/2 cup Butter, softened (one stick)
1/2 cup Sour Cream

2 tablespoons Milk, as needed
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

dash of salt
6 cups of powdered sugar (more or less to achieve desired consistency, this is a baseline)
1 Tablespoon meringue powder (optional but very helpful! you can find this in the cake decorating section at Walmart, Michaels, or Joann's. Or on Amazon of course. It lasts forever and really improves the texture of your frosting.)


In a mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and sour cream until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and salt, and blend.
Next, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, cover the bowl of the mixer with a dish towel, and turn it on low until everything is combined. Then increase the speed for a minute or so until the frosting is light, fluffy, and delicious. The meringue powder will help set the frosting after it dries so it holds its shape.
If the icing is to dry, add a little more sour cream or some milk.

Add 1 T. Lemon or orange zest and substitute juice for the milk to make a tangy citrus frosting
. Alternately, you can flavor with mint extract or almond extract.