I recently made these cookies for my son’s class for their Valentine’s Day party. The kids decorated them at school, but I reserved a few hold backs for home consumption. I’ve had trouble finding the perfect sugar cookie recipe, and I wanted to test out Mrs. Field’s. You know, Debbie Fields, of cookie fame!? Most sugar cookie recipes are essentially the same, but Debbie had some tips to share.
A few I hadn’t actually tried before and I was enthusiastic to see how they’d be. I whipped up the dough quickly and let it rest overnight. Resting sugar cookie dough for 12-12 hours in the fridge helps the cookies to hold their shape. Boy, was Debbie right about this one. These held a perfect shape during baking.
The most intriguing part of Mrs. Field’s recipe is her frosting. While I’ve seen (and love) a roux for chocolate frosting for Maida Heatter’s chocolate cake, and as part of the filling for whoopee pies, I’ve never thought to use one for a basic cut-out. A roux is a mixture of flour and milk that’s thickened over heat. It looks sort of like pudding. Thick and gloopy, not very appetizing. But add it to butter & sugar and it helps to produce a fantastic frosting, one that’s soft and light.
When whipped into buttercream frosting though, the frosting becomes light and airy. Sometimes buttercream can feel a bit too heavy or rich, especially atop a buttery cookie. This has the delicious flavor of buttercream, but is light and fluffy. Just yum.
A little dip in some sanding sugar and that’s my kind of cookie!
Frosted Sugar Cut-out Cookies
adapted from Mrs. Fields
for the sugar cookies:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Using softened butter (almost room temperature), cream the butter in an electric mixer for 2 minutes. It should be quite light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and continue to beat for 2 more minutes. Add and egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Stir your flour before measuring and add it along with the salt and baking soda. Blend until combined. Turn your dough out onto plastic wrap and form into a ball. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface (about ¼” thick) and cut out with a cookie cutter. Bake for 7-10 minutes, being careful not to brown. Transfer to a rack to cool.
for the frosting:
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (2% or whole)
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix flour and milk together in a saucepan medium heat, whisking constantly, until a thick paste forms, about the consistency of pudding. Cool completely (you can use the fridge or freezer to speed it up). Cream butter at high speed until it is light and airy. Add the sugar and blend until fluffy. Add the cooled roux to the butter and sugar and mix thoroughly. Add in the vanilla and mix.
Frost the cookies with an off-set spatula and if you’d like, dip them in sanding sugar or sprinkles.