Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

I think I was flipping through the pages of foodgawker when I came across these cake batter sugar cookies.  I love anything cake batter and you already know how I feel about sprinkles.  So, I definitely needed these in my life.  I went to make them a few days ago and as I was scanning through the ingredients, I saw butter extract listed.  Hmmm…I know I don’t have that for sure.  I figured I would just substitute in vanilla, but upon reading further into the recipe, the butter extract is what gives the cookies the cake batter flavor.  While that make sense, damn, I really wanted to make these cookies, but, not so bad that I wanted to take all three kids to the grocery store for just that one item.  So, sadly, they would have to wait.  Instead I made soft frosted sugar cookies, which were absolutely fabulous, but I still had these cookies on my mind.  Last night, my husband came home from work early and I was able to sneak out to the store after we tag teamed dinner, homework, baths, tuck-ins, goodnight kisses and dream rubs. 😀  Honestly, I’ve never seen butter extract, so I was afraid it might be hard to find.  But, Dominick’s came through.  In case you are wondering, it’s right by the vanilla.

Other than the butter extract, the batter is made up of the usual sugar cookie ingredients.  The dough is pretty stiff and I found it difficult to incorporate more than 1/3 cup of the 1/2 cup of sprinkles called for in the recipe. But, this is still a lot of sprinkles, considering they are then rolled in more sprinkles.  Can one have too many sprinkles?  No, the answer is definitely no. The recipe makes only 24 mini adorable cookies which is perfect for a fun after school snack or a lunchbox treat.  The cookies are bit crisp on the outside and soft and rich tasting on the inside.  I was kind of surprised by how much these cookies actually tasted like cake batter.  My kids loved them, but that is no surprise.

Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

Yield: 24 little cookies

4 tbsp (1/4 cup) butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

1/2 tsp butter extract

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup colorful sprinkles   I used a scant 1/3 cup of jimmies…the dough didn’t seem to be able to hold anymore.

1/4 cup sprinkles, for rolling    I used nonpareils

Preheat oven to 350F. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter and sugar together on medium.  Beat in the  yolk, butter extract, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add in the flour and mix until a thick dough forms.  Fold in the jimmies, up to 1/2 cup, with a spatula.

Roll the dough into teaspoon size balls.  I found that holding the dough ball in my hand for about 5 seconds warmed the butter, making them easier to roll.  You want the ball to be more tall than wide, so the cookie will be thicker. Roll the dough balls into the reserved nonpareils.  Bake for 9-10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway into the cooking time. Watch them closely at about 8 minutes to make sure they don’t get to brown.  The cookie should stay pretty white, with just a bit of browning on the underside.  If you find they aren’t flattening, you might have to press on them super lightly at the 6 minute mark.

Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets, so they set, before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool completely

Source: very slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

A few notes:

  • If you want a softer cookie, you can sub cake flour for all-purpose
  • If you find they aren’t flattening, you might have to press on them very lightly with a spatula halfway through baking.
  • I was only able to get about 1/3 cup of sprinkles into the dough or it didn’t seem like they would roll/hold together.  This was plenty.
  • According to the recipe, butter extract is the key to the cake batter flavor.  If you have to sub, the next closest thing would be almond extract.  Vanilla would still be good, it just wouldn’t taste like cake batter.

Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

I have to admit that I love those Lofthouse cookies at the grocery store.   You know the ones.  The soft sugar cookies with thick frosting and sprinkles to coordinate with each holiday.  So delicious.  Even with all the baking I do, I have a hard time resisting them.  But, I think next time it will be a little bit easier.  Why?  Because I have found some cookies that blow those out of the water.  I came across a recipe for sugar cookies in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook that were described as tasting like the grocery store cookies only better with the addition of chocolate chip cookie dough frosting.  How could they not be better?

I must warn you that these cookies are a bit time consuming because of all the steps: making the dough, refrigeration, roll and cut the dough, bake them, make the frosting and frost them.  But, each step is easy and the end result is oh so very worth it.   Upon tasting them, both my son and husband exclaimed oh my god, which was barely discernible with their mouths stuffed with cookies.  My daughter said they were the best thing I ever made.  Now, these three are some very tough critics.  If they say they are good, you can believe it.  But really, what’s not to like?  This is a super soft, not too sweet sugar cookie, smeared with cookie dough frosting and generously topped with chocolate chips.  Sounds (and tastes) pretty perfect to me. 😀

Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

Yield: 24 cookies

For the cookies:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature  Use the sticks- easier to measure and less messy

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 cups all-purpose flour (or more as needed)

For the frosting:

3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar, or more as needed

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder, followed by the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until dough comes together. Dough should be soft but not sticky.  If it is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.  I put the dough on Saran wrap and shaped it into a disk to make it easier to roll later.

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough to 3/8 inch thick. I had to use a small bit of flour.  Cut it into 3-inch circles (I used a biscuit cutter) and transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until tops are puffed and no longer shiny and bottoms are just barely golden brown. Do not overbake. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare frosting, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in flour and salt, followed by vanilla. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and beat until fluffy. Add more powdered sugar as necessary, 1/4 cup at a time, until frosting is thick yet spreadable.  I had to add more cream to thin it out a bit. 

With an offset spatula, spread 1 heaping tablespoon of frosting onto each cookie. You can be generous with the frosting. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, pressing lightly so chips adhere to frosting. Refrigerated in an airtight container, frosted cookies will keep for up to 3 days.

Source:  The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

The Treats Truck Sugar Dots

I live in a Chicago suburb, but I don’t get to the city much.  So, unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to sample some of the gourmet fare that food trucks are now offering.  Of course, I am most interested in the trucks that sell cupcakes, bars, cookies, really any baked goods.  I came across The Treats Truck Baking Book and I was instantly drawn to their slogan “Not too fancy, Always Delicious” because that’s how I like to think I bake.  They sell the treats that we all grew up with, but probably a little better.  (Sorry mom! :D)  Homemade chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes baked into ice cream cones, frosted sugar cookies, brownies…these are all comfort foods.  You see these treats and they instantly make you happy.  That is a big reason I love baking.  If I had a food truck, this would be it.

If you haven’t noticed yet, we love frosted cookies in my house.  Oh, and let’s not forget the sprinkles.  So, I knew that the Sugar Dots, one of the Treats Truck’s signature cookies, would be a perfect choice.  Usually I try to steer away from rolled cookies, just because they take a lot of time, which I don’t have.  But, looking at the picture of these sugar dots, I thought they would be worth the effort.  The dough was easy to put together and it rolled pretty easily with a bit of flour from time to time.  I used a shot glass (Classy, I knowOpen-mouth smile ) to cut them into circles because somehow with all the cookie cutters I have, I do not own a small round one.  So, my cookies were a bit smaller, about the size of a silver dollar.  But, that’s okay because I got more cookies with more frosting.  Never a bad thing!  The frosting is a basic buttercream, spread with an offset spatula, and decorated with sprinkles before the frosting sets.  I have to say, these cookies are crazy delicious. The sweet, creamy buttercream is a perfect complement to the buttery, tender, melt in your mouth cookie.  And, these two-biters are so cute!  Are they worth the time and effort?  The answer is easy as I take in Jack and Sammie’s Mmmms and their smiles through frosting covered lips.  Red heart

I had to make a rainbow for Sammie.

The Treats Truck Sugar Dots

Yield:  1.5 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size you make them. (I made mine small. and probably got more like 6 dozen)

Cookies

3 cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix and set aside.

Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy Add the egg and mix well.

In a measuring cup, combine the heavy cream and vanilla.

Mix the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture in three parts, alternating with the cream and vanilla mixture, starting and ending with the flour.

Remove the dough from the bowl, form it into a block, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick.  I floured the table, the top of the dough and the rolling pin. Using a cookie cutter (or shot glass)  cut out the cookies and place them 1 inch apart on a greased or parchment paper–lined baking sheet.  They don’t spread much so I was able to get 25 small cookies/sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until very lightly golden at the edges.

Allow the cookies to cool completely. Frost with buttercream using an offset spatula. If decorating with sprinkles, do so immediately after frosting each cookie or they won’t stick.  Let them sit out for at least 30 minutes to set.  I would pack them between wax paper to prevent from sticking and ruining the frosting.

Buttercream

Yield: 2 cups ( original recipe made 4 cups…way too much frosting)

1/2 stick of butter softened

3 cups sifted powdered sugar– to get out the lumps

1/4 cup whole milk

3/4 tsp vanilla

In your mixer bowl, cream the butter.  Add 1/2 of the powder sugar, mix well. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, mix well.  Add the milk and vanilla.  Mix until smooth and creamy.  Stick the frosting in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up a bit before using.

Note: The buttercream recipe is already halved.

Source: The Treats Truck:Cookies, Brownies, and Goodies Galore!

Cream Wafers

Okay, so I know Christmas is over. But, I have one last Christmas cookie to share because it is my absolute favorite.  After fulfilling everyone else’s cookie requests, I just didn’t have a chance to make these cream wafers until the last minute on Christmas Eve.  These are cookies from my childhood, the cookies that I made with my mom in preparation for Christmas.  The recipe comes from the super fun 1963 Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book.  Yep, going old school. 😀 I brought some to my mother-in-law’s house for Christmas and they loved them.  But, I was kind of surprised that none of them had ever seen them before.  The wafer part of the cookie reminds me of sugared pie crust.   Kind of like my mom used to make with pie crust scraps, sprinkled with sugar and baked until crisp. Then, they are filled with a sweet, pastel colored buttercream frosting.  Okay, so maybe it is too late for Christmas cookies.  But you can change the shape and the color of the filling to suit any holiday.  I think hearts with pink frosting would be really cute for Valentine’s Day.  If you squish the frosting out a touch on the sides, you could even roll them in sprinkles.  Am I trying too hard to justify making these cookies after Christmas?  Maybe…but these are way too good to be designated Christmas only cookies! 😀

Cream Wafers

1 cup butter ( I used softened)

1/3 cup whipping cream (35% butterfat)

2 cups all purpose flour (Gold Medal recommended)

granulated sugar for coating

Measure flour by dipping method (dip cup into flour, pull it up with heaping flour, level off with a spatula).  Mix butter, cream and flour thoroughly in a mixer bowl. Chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Roll dough to 1/8″ thick on a lightly floured surface.  Cut into 1 1/2″ rounds (or another shape you like).  Transfer to a wax paper heavily sprinkled with sugar, turning to coat both sides very well.  Place on an ungreased sheet- I used parchment paper.  Prick in 4 places with a fork. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until they start to puff and barely brown on the bottoms.  Sandwich two cookies together with the filling.

Frosting

1/4 cup soft butter

3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

food coloring if desired

Blend the soft butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a mixer bowl until well combined. Add tint if desired.  I made my cookies on the small side, so I needed more frosting.  I suggest making 1 and 1/2 recipes of frosting.

Source:  Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book

Buckeyes

You had to know this was coming when I mentioned that it just didn’t seem like Christmas without 2 things: fudge and buckeyes.    You saw the fudge, but then no buckeyes.  I actually did make them the day after I made the fudge…but funny story.  I rolled all the peanut butter dough into balls and then I had to refrigerate them before dipping. I didn’t have room in the fridge, so I thought I would just put them on a cookie sheet with a cover that snaps on tight.  Just to ensure they were safe, especially from my pug Walter, I put them on top of my grill.  When I went to roll them the next day, the cover was removed, neatly tucked into the handle of the grill.  About a quarter of the peanut butter balls were missing.  I don’t know what kind of animal it was, probably a raccoon or some squirrels, but needless to say, I was not happy.  I had to throw over 100 perfectly rolled, delicious peanut butter balls in the garbage. 😦  This is the kind of stuff that only happens to me!  So, today I made them all over again.  Only this time, I made sure to make room in the fridge. 😀

Buckeyes

Yield: 100-150 (depending on how big you roll them)

Filling

1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar (almost 6 cups)

1/2 pound room temperature butter (2 sticks)

1 pound creamy peanut butter (2 cups)  I love Peter Pan Honey Roasted Creamy

1 Tbsp vanilla

Coating

12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 slab paraffin wax (found in the canning or baking section of most grocery stores)

Combine powdered sugar, butter, peanut butter and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer.  Beat slow at first until the powdered sugar gets incorporated, then beat on medium until well combined.  Form the dough into balls, about 1/2 inch in diameter.  Put the balls in a bowl or on a cookie sheet, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  To melt the chocolate, use a double boiler or a small, heavy bottomed saucepan.  Put the chips and the paraffin (cut into small pieces) into the pan, and heat on low, mixing continuously until smooth.  Remove from heat.  Remove the peanut butter balls from the fridge and using a long wooden skewer, dip the balls, leaving a small circle of peanut butter showing at the top.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  You may need to put the peanut butter balls back in the fridge if they get too soft to dip.  You may also have to reheat the chocolate if it cools so much it starts to thicken/solidify.  Use your fingers to smooth out the skewer hole on top of each candy.  Freeze to set, then store in cookie tins in the freezer or fridge if using soon.  I think they taste better at room temperature.

Source: Penseys Spices Holiday 2000

Helpful Hints:

  • Use a small saucepan, so the chocolate is deeper for easy dipping.
  • I have found wooden shish kebob skewers to be the best for dipping.
  • The paraffin wax helps to make the chocolate coating more smooth and more stable.
%d bloggers like this: