Every holiday season, my family makes traditional sugar cookies along with trying out some new holiday cookie recipes. I was inspired to do a spin on traditional sugar cookies by the circulating Lofthouse copycat recipes on Pinterest and popular food blogs. If you don’t recognize the name, Lofthouse sugar cookies are the delicious and addictive frosted cookies sold in the bakery section of grocery stores. These cookies are soft and sweet with frosting that melts in your mouth, and they come in various colors.
Making these cookies at home seems like a large undertaking, but with the right recipe, it’s actually easier than traditional sugar cookies. There’s no chilling, rolling, cutting or meticulous decorating. You can easily decorate them however you like and go for a Christmas theme like I did, or a white and blue winter theme.
Before you start making the cookie dough, make sure that your butter and egg are room temperature. If you don’t want to wait, or if you forget to set them out ahead of time, you can carefully warm up the butter in the microwave and sit the egg in a warm bowl of water until you’re ready to use it. If you are waiting, take the time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and set out a parchment-lined cookie pan.
Start by creaming the butter, sugar and vanilla. Then separate the egg and add only the egg white. Whisk the mixture again until it is incorporated.
Scoop the cookie dough onto your parchment-lined pan at least one inch apart. You can use whichever-sized cookie scoop you have since Lofthouse makes regular and mini-sized cookies; just keep in mind that if you do mini cookies, they may bake more quickly. This recipe yields about a dozen regular-sized cookies.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until the edges look golden. When you first take them out of the oven, they will be a little puffy, but as they cool, they will shrink slightly. Let the cookies cool completely before you frost them.
When beginning the frosting, take a minute to cream the butter by itself to ensure it is soft and creamy. Then add half a cup of the powdered sugar, the vanilla extract, the corn starch, the meringue powder and the milk. Adding only part of the powdered sugar at a time will help keep it from creating a cloud when you mix it. If your powdered sugar tends to have lumps, make sure you sift it into the bowl to keep lumps out of the frosting. The meringue powder is another essential ingredient for these cookies because it will ensure that the frosting hardens in the way that the Lofthouse frosting does. If you skip the meringue powder, the frosting will not be completely ruined, but it will not set up in the same way. Whisk these frosting ingredients until they are combined, and then add the rest of the powdered sugar and the food coloring of your choice.
Now that the cookies are cooled, the frosting can begin. You will want to work quickly with this frosting before it starts to get stiff. You can either spread the frosting with a spatula or knife or you can pipe it. Make sure you add the sprinkles right away so they will stick to the frosting.
½ cup or 1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup white sugar
1 egg white
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup cake flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper and get out the ingredients. Butter and egg should be room temperature.
Whisk the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Crack and separate the egg white and whisk it in.
Add cake flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Mix in with the electric whisk until ingredients are incorporated and a cohesive dough forms.
Scoop the cookie dough onto the pan, keeping an inch in between them.
Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.
2 tbsp butter
1 cup of powdered sugar (plus 1 tbsp if consistency requires)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp meringue powder
1 tbsp milk
Food coloring of choice
Whisk room-temperature butter until creamy.
Add ½ cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cornstarch, meringue powder and milk, and mix.
Add the remaining powdered sugar, including the tablespoon if the frosting is runny, and the food coloring and then mix.
Frost the cookies with a spatula or piping bag and add sprinkles of choice.
By Katelyn Wiszowaty, A&E Editor