My mom has a Christmas scrapbook that she has been updating for the past 25+ Christmases. Every year she puts it out on my parents’ coffee table and I love to peruse through it. There are lots of pictures of my siblings and me, bleary-eyed and full of excitement at the anticipation of Santa’s arrival. When I see those snapshots frozen in time, I can still remember how we felt at those very moments. The holidays bring about such strong memories and the old soul in me loves to recount the stories.
When my sister and I got married, my mom gave us a similar scrapbook for each of us to fill out as we start our traditions with our own families. We only have a few pages filled out, and I am looking forward to seeing what will fill future pages of our scrapbook. I have a feeling these soft sugar cookies may be a recurring guest.
These cookies are a new to me, even though the recipe has been circulating around food blogs for several months. They are the type of cookie that becomes a family favorite and, in my opinion, the ideal treat to leave out for Santa. The cookies are perfectly soft without being too delicate and the vanilla flavor really shines through. I’ve made these cookies several times now and I know I will be making them in Christmas future.
Merry Christmas! May all your days be merry and bright.
Soft Sugar Cookies
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
For the cookies
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 5 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoon) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 7-8 tablespoon milk
- Food coloring (optional)
- Sprinkles (optional)
1. Make the dough ahead of time: beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and mix until combined.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add the flour to the butter mixture, just until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure the dough is evenly mixed. Chill the dough for a hour.
3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Use a 2 inch ice cream scoop, roll into a ball, and flatten the ball slightly and place on the baking sheets. Space the cookies at least 2 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes or just until set. Be careful not to overbake – they should barely browned on the bottom. Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. To make the icing, place the sifted confectioner’s sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the melted butter, vanilla, and milk and mix until smooth. Add more milk as needed. Use desired food coloring to make the icing extra festive. Frost cooled cookies and decorate with sprinkles.