my sister-in-law makes the best sugar cookies - hands down. i always use her recipe and i can never resist one or two or five every time she makes them. they are the roll out kind you cut into fun shapes and then frost. they are perfectly soft with a hint of almond and vanilla and they are crazy addictive.
the other day i had a weird craving for sugar cookies but i didn't want to have to wait while the dough chilled and i didn't want to have to roll it out so i (gasp) tried another recipe. they turned out really yummy. i used K's trick of almond and vanilla extract and frosted them with a basic frosting recipe tinting it yellow and using yellow sprinkles.
of course, they aren't as good as K's and i will still continue to make hers whenever i want to cut them out and decorate them, but these are great in a pinch. plus, the bright, cheery yellow cookies are like little rays of sunshine, you simply can't resist the extra thick, soft bites.
Iced Soft Sugar Cookies
slightly adapted from annies eats
makes about 2 dozen small cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 extra large eggs (or 2 small), room temperature
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 1/2 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3-4 tbsp milk (plus more, as needed)
food coloring (optional)
preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
combine flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light a fluffy, about 2 minutes. add egg(s) and extracts and beat well to combine. slowly add flour mixture to mixer and mix until just combined. refrigerate dough for 1 hour (i skipped this step for the first batch of cookies and put the dough in the fridge while the first batch cooked. the cookies seemed the same. so, if you can't wait - like me - no worries.)
roll teaspoons full of dough into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets. bake for 8-11 minutes. do not overbake! cookies should be just every so slightly, barely light brown if at all. remove from oven and let cool slightly. transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.
meanwhile, make icing. sift powdered sugar into bowl of mixer and add melted butter. beat until mixture comes together. add extracts and then add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency should not be too thick but not too thin either. add food coloring if desired and frost cookies. sprinkle with sprinkles if desired and let cookies sit until frosting has hardened. store in airtight container.