Friday, February 3
Sometimes you just want to sink your teeth into a soft, crumbly, sweet sugar cookie. The kind of cookie that breaks apart in your hand as soon as you take a bite. The kind of cookie which, no matter how hard you try, throws all your attempts of remaining sophisticated and poised out the window...way out.
Because as soon as you dust the crumbs off your lap, and dab away the milk mustache with a napkin, your other hand is already absently reaching for another cookie.
Cookies have a way of leveling the playing field and returning us to the carefree, nonchalance of childhood.
Will I lose anyone if I confess that I don't know much about football? I do enjoy soccer. (I'm literally glued to the t.v. during the World Cup.) But no matter how hard I try, I just can't get into football. However, I do enjoy the commercials that air during the Superbowl...or is that even more annoying than simply not watching it at all? Okay, I'll return to cookie talk.
These cookies are classic, soft sugar cookies. Nothing more, nothing less. In fact, if you don't want to go through the fuss of making a frosting, no worries, the cookies are delicious all on their own. And since they hold their shape quite well, feel free to use any kind of cookie cutter you desire...even football themed cookie cutters. :D
Have a great weekend, Everyone! xo
Soft Sugar Cookies (adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod)
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 room temperature eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream (allow the carton to sit at room temp. for about 30 minutes)
dark chocolate frosting (adapted from Martha Stewart)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon, freshly brewed hot coffee
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds good quality bittersweet and/or dark chocolate, melted and cooled
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (a hand-held mixer will work too, just be sure to use a very large mixing bowl), beat together the butter and sugar on med-high speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Turn the speed down to low and add the almond extract and sour cream. Beat until combined.
Slowly add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (Try not to over mix.)
Don't worry if the dough seems sticky.
Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a rough rectangle that's about 1 1/2-inches thick (it doesn't need to be exact). Wrap each rectangle in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin.
Remove one of the chilled rectangles of dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and place on prepared baking sheets. [Note: You can re-roll the scraps, but they won't be as soft and fluffy as the first round.]
Bake for 6-7 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to turn golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer the cookies to a cooling rack (be gentle, as the cookies will still be fragile). Repeat with the second half of dough.
Cool completely before frosting.
Prepare the frosting:
In a medium, heat-poof bowl, combine the cocoa and hot coffee, stirring until cocoa has dissolved; Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add the melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture until well combined.
Frost the cookies and decorate as desired!
Cookie recipe makes about 5-6 dozen cookies
Frosting recipe yields about 5 cups of frosting