Lee Brennon Charles Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) butter, softened to cool room temperature
1 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (2 ounces) powdered sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
5 cups (25 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons vanilla coffee creamer
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest; mix. Add two cups flour, baking powder and salt. Mix. Add remaining flour and mix just until flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and soft.
The dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or it can be rolled out right away (if it seems too sticky add another 1/4 cup flour or refrigerate for an hour or so). Dust a counter with powdered sugar or flour and roll the dough to desired thickness (I prefer my cookies on the thick side so I roll my dough out to about 1/4-inch, maybe even slightly thicker than that). Cut the dough into shapes. Place the cookies on a lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. The cookies won’t appear browned on top (or on bottom) when they are done baking so don’t let them over bake! I find 7 1/2 minutes is about perfect but if they are even lightly browned on bottom, I decrease the time by 30 seconds. I like them super soft with not even a hint of browned edges or bottom. This way they literally melt in my mouth.Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack before frosting. The baked cookies (un-frosted) can be stored in a Tupperware or Ziploc bag in the freezer for up to a month. I also often freeze 1/2 of the sugar cookie dough when I don’t have time or don’t want to roll it out and cut shapes. I wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then stick it in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and freeze it for up to a month. I take it out the night before I want to roll it out and store it in the refrigerator to thaw (for about 12-15 hours). About 30 minutes before I want to use it, I let it sit on the counter to soften a bit and then I roll it out and cut out the cookies.
For the frosting: In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and coffee creamer. Mix until very smooth and light and no lumps remain.
- We love to use different colored sprinkles for each occasion but are just as delicious plain!
The baking temperature is high but I think the higher temp for a shorter time works best. The cookies still remain soft and fluffy!
The key to frosting success is using really soft cream cheese and beating it with the powdered sugar until no lumps remain.