Have I mentioned before how obsessed I am with Valentine's Day? Like, scary amounts of obsessed. Geoff rolls his eyes at me every time they set up the Valentine's displays in the store, because I have to look at each and every item and exclaim over how cute it is. If I had my way, I would decorate the whole house in pink and red hearts every year for V-day. Since I don't think Geoff could tolerate that, I usually settle for a cute wreath on the front door and maybe a heart garland across the top of the bookcase. I'm not even sure where my love of Valentine's Day came from (it might be because it's only a few days before my birthday), but whenever I start seeing all those garish, goofy, over the top lovey decorations, I am just filled with joy. I buy each of the girls a new book for Valentine's Day (usually something love-related) and cute treat, and Geoff and I usually try to carve out some time in the week to do something fun together.
In addition to my love of Valentine's day, I also have a love of thick, soft sugar cookies. I find them completely irresistible, especially if they are topped with a thick layer of pink icing. This recipe is a kinda-sorta copycat of the cookies that you can buy at the grocery store, only much better and more flavorful. The store-bought cookies tend to be a little on the bland side, but these cookies taste like butter and sugar and vanilla and have a delicious sugar cookie flavor!
I love that by making balls with the dough instead of rolling it out, the prep time for these cookies is significantly shortened. They really are so quick to throw together, and made with super simple ingredients. As a sugar cookie lover, I have made and tasted a lot of different sugar cookies in my life, but I would definitely say these are among the best I've ever tasted. Just looking at the pictures is making me want to bake another batch post haste!
The Best Soft Sugar Cookies
for the cookies:
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
for the frosting:
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk or cream (I used half and half)
1-2 drops pink or red food coloring
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, and mix well. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until a firm dough forms. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400. Roll the dough into one inch balls and place on baking sheets lined with parchment or sprayed with cooking spray. Flatten each ball slightly with your hand or with a drinking glass to be about 1/3-1/2 inch thick. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the bottom edges are just slightly golden brown. Remove and let cool before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and enough milk or cream to thin to desired consistency. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the food coloring and beat until well distributed. Frost cookies as desired.
cookies adapted from Hostess with the Mostess