The great food debates of the world are raging and passionate. There are so many questions where people just can’t seem to agree. Do you put ketchup on hot dogs? Do you split an Oreo or just bite right into them? Can you use a spoon to twirl spaghetti? Is pecan pronounced “pick-ahn” or “pee-can?”
See what I mean? There are so many of these types of debates going on in the food world. There is a lesser known debate going on, but the passion is just as strong on this one. It involves these babies:
Yup. Lofthouse sugar cookies. Now, like many of you I grew up on these cookies. My mom would always pick them up when we would go on our shopping trips and my brothers and I would scarf them down right when we got home. I personally loved these growing up. They tasted like a sugar cookie to me. They tasted what they were supposed to taste like. I know I had a unrefined palate at ten years old, but still I liked them none the less. As much as my brothers and I loved these, many people equally hate these cookies. Many claim that these taste like preservatives. Which is understandable, considering that’s what’s in them. Many claim they can taste the margarine. Many claim they’re disgusting and tastes like chalk. So on and so forth. I never tasted those things as a child, but being semi-adultish now, I care about what I put into my body. I’m not a fan of preservatives and the long paragraph of ingredients. I want to know what’s in my food. That’s why when I saw the opportunity to recreate one of my favorite childhood cookies, I jumped at the chance.
To make it easier, I combined the egg, vanilla, lemon juice and zest together.
To start, combine the softened butter and sugar together and mix on medium low to medium for about 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Mixture should look like this afterwards.
Now add in the egg/vanilla mixture and mix until the egg is absorbed. Should take no more than two minutes on medium.
Now put in the sour cream and give it another mix on medium for about a minute.
It should look like this. Lighter in color, more moist, but still sort of lumpy.
No need to sift, but combine the flour, salt, baking powder all in one and then dump it into the mixture.
Mix this on low to start until it’s just combined. The flour should be absorbed, but don’t over do it. It took me about thirty seconds of mixing. We’re done with the dough. See how easy that was.
Now this step isn’t mandatory, but I like to do it, because it really helps with the flavor and with handling the dough in my opinion. I like the dough to rest in the fridge wrapped in saran for at least an hour. The dough is sort of sticky if you choose to skip this step. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F while you’re waiting.
After an hour, roll up the dough into balls and place about 2″ apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press down until slightly flatter with your middle, ring and index fingers.
Bake at 350°F for about 9-10 minutes. They may look undercooked, but they’ll continue to cook on the sheet for 3-5 more minutes. The more you press them down, the less puffy they’ll look.
After letting them sit on the sheet for an extra 3-5 minutes out of the oven, move them to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before frosting them.
The buttercream frosting is super easy and quick to make. Start with butter and shortening. I use really good butter and hi-ratio shortening. I specifically used Plugra butter and Sweetex. Crisco will taste like Crisco so don’t use that. You will taste what you use, so keep that in mind.
Cream the butter/shortening in the mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Should take no more than two minutes if both are at room temperature. (Basement lighting now. The negatives of living in Michigan in the winter is the sun goes down at 5pm.)
Add 1/2 cup of the sifted confectioner’s sugar and mix on very low for about a minute then turn it up to medium low and mix until the sugar is well absorbed.
Add in another 1/2 cup of the sugar and the vanilla and almond. Beat until smooth.
Lastly, add in the remaining sugar, alternating between the sugar, milk and then ending with sugar. Mix on low when you first add the sugar so there’s no mess, but turn it up to medium to beat until completely smooth.
It’s a crusting buttercream as you see.
Now, if you’d like you can color the frosting. All the lofthouse sugar cookies have colored frosting so I decided to go ahead with this step. I colored mine light pink and green. I decorated them with various Christmas colored sprinkles. When frosting isn’t in use, make sure it’s covered with saran, because it does crust.
Now, the best part. Enjoy these deliciously, soft and fluffy sugar cookies with a tall glass of milk. Yum!! Trust me, these are SOOO much better than the store-bought stuff. They’re big, but still taste like a fluffy cookie. The frosting is sweet, but not overly sweet. I’m telling you, your kids will love you for this recipe.