You know you love them. Even if you don’t want to admit it. I know that you love them. I know that I love them, especially when they are Holiday themed =). For some reason, the holidays bring out the sugar cookie side of me. Lofthouse Sugar Cookies are what I’m talking about, and even if you don’t know the name, I’m 100% certain you’ve seen them before. You usually find them in the bakery of your grocery store, and they are usually incredibly difficult to resist. Well maybe not usually. More like ALWAYS incredibly difficult to resist. There are some copycat recipes floating around out there, but today I wanted to put my own spin on them. Surprisingly, these sugar cookies are quite simple to make, even though they take some patience. Just like all other sugar cookies, they need their “chilling” time. The buttercream is equally as simple and can be made ahead of time. You will totally be addicted to these sugar cookies once you’ve made them for the first time. I had to keep myself from eating the whole batch before I took photos! I know I know, life is so rough.
I’ll have you know that I struggled with the decision of using either cream cheese or sour cream for this recipe. I’ve baked with sour cream many, many times. It helps in making cookies super soft and fluffy. I didn’t want to go overboard with sour cream though. Sour cream has a tang that can knock you off your feet. For these sugar cookies, I decided to mix the two. It worked just fine for me, and the flavor was perfect…for me. This doesn’t mean you have to do the same. You can certainly just use sour cream and substitute the 1/4 cup of cream cheese for just more sour cream. You could also use softened mascarpone which I LOVE, but don’t LOVE to pay for all of the time. The choice is yours, just make sure you stick with the exact measurements.
The same goes for the vanilla bean. I go crazy over vanilla bean and use it any chance I get. Traditionally, you would not put the seeds from a vanilla bean into the dough. This ingredient can be skipped, especially since purchasing vanilla bean can get pricey. It’s up to you!
Just like anything else, baking requires you to be specific, and these sugar cookies can change depending on your conditions. I obviously live a mile above sea level. Sometimes “drastic” measures have to be taken. It always takes my cookies longer to bake and sometimes I have to adjust the leavening agents (baking soda, baking powder, yeast…even flour). The key is to pay close attention to the dough. You want a cookie dough. You want it to be sticky, but not runny. Adjust the flour amount as you need. I find that it is best to start with a little bit less and work your way up. You can always add more, but you can’t always take away. On the other hand, if you find your cookie dough to be TOO stiff, it’s ok to add a tablespoon or two of milk. I do this often and it always seems to work out in the end.
Have I confused the heck out of you yet??
I’m sorry =(. If you have questions, I’m just a message away =).
Also, sprinkles are not optional.
We haven’t had Santa Fe Brewing’s Imperial Java Stout in quite a while, but I couldn’t resist. I knew that it would be just perfect for this pairing. I know, you’re thinking I should have used a pumpkin beer of some kind because of the whole “Halloween-Fallish” theme, but the flavors just didn’t pair up. If I were sticking pumpkin in the cookie (well, heyyyy there’s an idea!), it would be a whole different situation. So Santa Fe is awesome (both the city and the brewery (=), and their Imperial Java Stout is just delicious. It’s the perfect pairing with sweets. It’s chocolatey and coffee(y) and perfect. It comes in a super cute can, so that should be more than enough reason to give it a shot.
I hope everyone had a great weekend!