When friends contact me for birthday requests, they usually ask for cupcakes. Occasionally they will branch out, and ask for a layered cake. But on one special occasion, I was asked to make cookies – a totally new request! It was tricky for me, because in my opinion, cookies don’t say “birthday.” Picnic, yes. Lunchbox, sure. But birthday? Not so much.
Still, I was committed to delivering what the birthday girl wanted. So after much
Also, just for everyone’s information, I was totally wrong. Boy, was I wrong! Because these melt-in-your-mouth, thick and sweet, frosted and sprinkled cookies just scream “birthday!”
For the Cookies:
- Flour: The actual amount of flour you’ll need varies, depending on factors like humidity, how large your eggs are, etc. Plan on 5 – 6 cups.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder: Using both together gives the cookies a thick, airy texture.
- Butter: The butter should be at room temperature.
- Granulated Sugar: Plain granulated sugar is fine.
- Eggs: You’ll need three whole eggs.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the best flavor.
- Sour Cream: I used light sour cream for these cookies.
For the Frosting:
- Butter: Again, make sure your butter is at room temperature, or it won’t beat up properly.
- Powdered Sugar: This light, finely-ground sugar gives your frosting the perfect smooth and fluffy texture.
- Cream: A small amount of heavy cream is used to thin the frosting to the right consistency.
Step by Step Instructions
Combine the Dry Ingredients. First, dump five cups of your flour, along with the baking soda and baking powder, into a mixing bowl. Give these ingredients a quick stir or whisk to combine, and then set them aside.
Combine the Wet Ingredients. Next, cream the butter and sugar together. You can do this in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large mixing bowl. Cream the ingredients by beating them until they are light and fluffy, and then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture a little after each egg. Then add the vanilla and sour cream, and beat at low speed until combined.
Mix the Dry Ingredients with the Wet Ingredients. Carefully pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for a short time – just until the two mixtures are combined. You don’t want to beat on high speed, or the flour will go everywhere! Next, add more flour 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough is thick enough for rolling and cutting. You should not need more than one additional cup of flour, total.
Chill the Dough. Once the dough is the right texture, divide it into two pieces. Flatten each piece into a rectangle or circle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap the dough pieces tightly in plastic wrap, and chill overnight in the fridge.
Get Ready to Bake. The following day, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray them with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
Bake and Cool. Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes, or until pale golden and just set. Immediately transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Make the Frosting. While the cookies are cooling, you can make the frosting. Using a clean bowl and mixer, cream together the butter and vanilla for the frosting, and then slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Once the mixture is smooth and creamy, add in the heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired thickness is achieved.
Decorate and Rest. When the cookies are completely cool, frost them and add your sprinkles. Allow the frosting to set, and then store the cookies in an air-tight container. Then (this is important!) let the cookies sit overnight, to allow the flavors to develop.
- Handling the Dough: Since this dough is so soft, it may be helpful to have a small-ish spatula for lifting both the unbaked and baked cookies, until they’ve cooled and hardened a little bit. It’s also very important to chill the dough and cookies thoroughly according to the recipe instructions.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: To keep things light and airy, you want the cookie dough to come together thoroughly without overmixing. To do this, make sure that your ingredients, especially the butter, are at room temperature.
- Colorful Cookies: Feel free to add a few drops of food coloring to the cookie dough, to make a colorful cookie that goes with your holiday or party theme. Fun!
- Flavor Ideas: A little bit of extract or flavoring can really up the flavor ante here. Consider adding peppermint extract, orange extract, rum flavoring, almond, lemon… so many great options. Some extracts and flavorings are stronger than others, so it’s a good idea to start small (like 1/4 teaspoon) and add more if needed.
You can store these in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. I prefer to serve these at room temperature, but they can also be served chilled.
Can I Freeze These?
- 6 cups flour, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups light sour cream
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
For the cookies:
- In a medium bowl, whisk 5 cups of flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough needs to obtain the right consistency for rolling, so add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until this is achieved (up to 1 cup more flour).
- Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
- Generously flour a work area and rolling pin. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
For the frosting:
- To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired spreading consistency is achieved.
- Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit overnight before serving to allow the flavors to develop.
Looking for more delicious cookie recipes? Here are a few more reader favorites I think you will love:
- Homemade Nutter Butter Cookies
- The Best Cookie Cake
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
- Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
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