I love a good, soft, super-thick sugar cookie. This recipe is one of my favorites and comes from my high school friend, Annie, who once posted a picture of these on her instagram. I HAD to have the recipe and it has been my favorite ever since. They are so soft and have such a good flavor.
These cookies are lightly flavored with almond extract and are made extra delicious with the addition of sour cream. I wanted a fun way to decorate them for Easter without having to use royal icing(looks so pretty but I prefer to eat buttercream) so I frosted them with several shades of lavender buttercream using a super easy method. See below the recipe for a picture tutorial on how to get this look. Below, get my tips for getting super soft sugar cookies, every time!
SECRETS FOR SUPER-SOFT SUGAR COOKIES
- Do not over-mix the dough. Once the flour is added, mixing will start to develop the gluten which leads to tough cookies. Only mix your dry ingredients in until they are fully incorporated, but do not mix past that point.
- When rolling out your dough, keep it thick! It is awfully hard to get soft sugar cookies from thinly rolled dough.Thicker cookies will be harder to over cook and leave more room for error. If you roll your dough to about a 2/3″ thickness, they will likely still be soft even if they get a little brown. I find that a 1/2″ to 2/3″ thickness gives me the results I’m looking for.
- Do not over-cook! You will get the softest cookies by removing them from the oven when you almost think they may not be fully cooked yet. Take them out before they start browning at all on the top and have just started to develop a little hint of brown color on the bottom.
- This last trick is something that I apply to all cookies to get super-soft results. Place the cookies together in an airtight container immediately after removing from the oven. Once the cookies are sealed together while still hot, the steam coming from them will soften them and help them to stay soft for several days. Cooling on a wire rack will cause them to loose this moisture. Place a sheet of waxed paper between layers if you are worried about them sticking together.
- 1 C. Butter, softened
- 1 C. Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
- ⅓ C. Sour Cream
- 3 C. Flour
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, almond extract and sour cream and mix together until smooth, scraping down the sides once.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Add to the wet ingredients and mix in until just combined.
- Place the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper and roll out to a thickness of no less than ½".
- Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.
- Place cookies 1" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Do not let them brown! I prefer to cook mine for the shortest amount of time possible, so that they almost seem underdone. Once cooled, they will be so soft because of this. Just take care not too under-cook. Everyone's oven is a little different, so see what time works best to give you the results you want.
- Cool cookies on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
Divide the frosting you will be using up evenly into three bowls. Choose the shade you want your frosting to be and color the first bowl of frosting the darkest version of that shade. Dye the second bowl a medium version of the shade, and dye the last bowl the lightest version of the shade. Scoop each shade of frosting into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
Using the darkest shade of frosting, pipe one dot of frosting on the tip of the cookie.
Using the back tip of a fork or spoon, scrape the frosting down and towards the middle of the cookie. Wipe the frosting off of the spoon tip. Pipe three more dots in a row below the frosting dot that was scraped down.
Scrape each frosting dot down towards the center, wiping off your spoon tip after each dot. Pipe another row of frosting dots below the row that you just scraped down.
Continue this process all the way down the cookie. When you reach the center of the cookie, switch to the medium shade of frosting. At the bottom third of the cookie, switch to the lightest color of frosting. When you reach the last row of frosting dots, scrape them down just slightly towards the bottom center point.