Frosted Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day

One of the things I baked this weekend as a part of the Valentine’s Day Love Boxes I made were my favorite sugar cookies frosted and decorated.  I make these cookies several times a year and I devour at least a dozen of them myself every time.

I’ve posted the recipe before (Spring Sugar Cookies) for the cookies, but have since then added my own homemade buttercream to the mix instead of a jar of pre-made frosting.

So, here they are together… my favorite sugar cookie recipe with my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe.

These cookies are full of flavor, soft, and puff up perfectly when baking. The frosting, it’s smooth, creamy and so delicious!!

Roll & Cut Sugar Cookies
 
Prep time
 
Serves: 5-6 dozen cookies (depending on cookie cutter size)
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • ¾ unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • heart shaped cookie cutters
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and shortening.
  2. Add the sugar, eggs, and almond extract and mix on high until light and fluffy – about 4-5 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Make sure you are scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  5. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Roll dough ¼ inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutter and place on baking sheet.
  8. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until cookies are a delicate golden color. NOTE: Mine only take 6 minutes! Do not let the edges get too brown, you want the bottoms to just barely start to turn a golden color.
  9. Remove immediately from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Perfect Vanilla Buttercream
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: Enough to frost 5-6 dozen cookies with left-overs
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • the seeds of one Madagascar vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2lbs powdered sugar
  • ¼-1/2 cup Madagascar vanilla bean infused heavy whipping cream (Recipe here)
  • pink food gel – optional
  • sprinkles – optional
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and mix until combined.
  3. 1lb at a time, add the powdered sugar. Begin on low speed and increase speed until mixture becomes smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. After each addition of sugar, add 3-4 tbsp of cream. Beat on high to combine.
  5. Add as much cream as you want until you have a smooth, spreadable consistency. NOTE: I like to make this buttercream a little thinner than what I’d make if I was using it for cupcakes, so I add more cream.
  6. Once you have your desired consistency, beat on high for 4-5 minutes.
  7. If you want to tint the frosting, add as much gel as you want until you get the color you need. Scrape sides/bottom of bowl to make sure it’s all uniform in color.
  8. Frost cookies and decorate with sprinkles!
  9. EAT!


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

I’m so excited!  Not only was our Commissary finally stocked with pumpkin puree but to share my new favorite pumpkin recipe! I just baked it this afternoon and its so delicious thank you Ina Garten for making this pumkinlicious creation that I found off of Pinterest.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Makes 12 servings

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Maple Frosting (recipe follows)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (2 1.4-ounce bars)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.

2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.

3. Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use a level 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

4. Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits.

Maple Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor (I used Mc Cormick)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I just used a wooden spoon and mixed it well), cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

ENJOY!

Red, White and Blue Velvet Cupcakes

My husband recently graduated from the NCO Academy here in Germany.  For us, that’s a big deal.  It was his first big school since Basic Training that included a formal graduation ceremony.  So… this totally meant I had to throw a party to celebrate! I decided to host a big BBQ and provide a hot dog bar and desserts.  Dessert in my world = CUPCAKES!  [Read more…]