The Best Soft, Fluffy Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream

February 13, 2017 § Leave a comment

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So, I originally wasn’t planning on baking anything for Valentine’s Day this year. Crazy, right? While on Instagram this past week, I’ve been drooling over all of the cute confections and treats everyone else was making, and then when I stumbled across a recipe for soft, fluffy sugar cookies (i.e. Lofthouse-style cookie), I thought of one of my best friends who would absolutely love them. I immediately knew that I wanted to bake a batch so I could send some to her in the mail and also give some to my other Galentines. And that’s all it took – I went from not baking anything to baking two dozen of these cookies plus a dozen black bottom cupcakes (recipe coming soon!) all in one night.

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It’s been proven that these cookies are incredibly addicting. My friends literally finished the ones I gave them in a single sitting. The cookies are perfectly soft, fluffy, and almost more like cake than a traditional cookie, but no one’s complaining. The vanilla buttercream brings these cookies over the top and makes them more special and indulgent.

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The cookie plus buttercream definitely makes for a very sweet treat, which is why I added a suggestion for less sugar in the buttercream. However even after making it with the full amount of sugar and thinking I wouldn’t like it, I was surprised that I kept on eating them because they are THAT good. What was even more shocking was my friend who has a low tolerance for sugar ate all of hers too!

Bottom line – these are the best sugar cookies ever. If you’re planning on making these to give away, be sure to make yourself a batch too otherwise there’ll be none left to gift!

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Soft, Fluffy Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream

Yield: 24 cookies

Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 3 cups unbleached cake flour*
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg white
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

* To make your own cake flour: measure 1 cup all-purpose flour, remove 2 tbsp of flour, and add 2 tbsp of corn starch to use as 1 cup cake flour; sift five times.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/4 – 3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (depends on how sweet you want it – for reference, 3 3/4 cups = 1 lb of confectioners’ sugar)
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring, optional
  • Nonpareils or sprinkles, optional

Directions:

Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Use rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. With mixer on low speed, add egg and egg white and mix together. Add yogurt and vanilla extract and beat, increasing speed slightly until mixture is combined. It is normal for the mixture to be lumpy.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. These cookies are meant to be cakey after they are baked so don’t over mix otherwise they will be tough!

Leaving the dough in the bowl, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough and roll between your palms to form a smooth ball. Place on prepared baking sheet and using a measuring cup, gently press down on the ball so the top is flat. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies an inch apart.

Bake cookies for about 9 minutes, or just until they puff up and a toothpick inserted in the center has a few moist crumbs. The surface of the cookie should still be pale and white and the bottoms may be very lightly browned.

Allow cookies to cool directly on baking sheet for five minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to completely cool.

Vanilla Buttercream

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, almond milk, and vanilla – start with the lower amount and you can adjust for taste/consistency as needed. If using, mix in gel food coloring – be careful, a little goes a long way!

Assembly

When cookies have completely cooled, use a knife or offset spatula to spread buttercream on top of cookies. If desired, top with sprinkles – you’ll want to add sprinkles to an individual cookie immediately after frosting it since the buttercream starts setting pretty quickly.

Store in an air-tight container, preferably in a single layer. However, if you need to stack them on top of each other, separate the layers with parchment paper.

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