Imitation Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

Lofthouse cookies are such a love-hate relationship for me. I love almost everything about them—from their unnaturally vibrant coloring to their moist texture. The hate part comes from reading the label. Don’t do it.  Just be happy. They bring me back to college when we would pick them up from Schnucks (a St. Louis thang) and go to town on them.

These imitation cookies come out extremely soft but more bread-like than the supermarket kind. I don’t consider them a replacement, but maybe with more work they can resemble the original. These just taste too homemade and not artificial enough. They need more artificial.

Attention: The dough pre-baking it is extremely sticky. I almost scrapped the entire project because after I rolled it out, the dough just stuck to my floured pan. Make sure that you have plenty of grease and flour on whatever surface you are using. I found the best surface to be wax paper. The texture of the batter is like cream cheese, especially when warm, so keep sections of dough in the freezer while rolling and cutting out the rest.

Imitation Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

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Adapted from Authentic Suburban Gourmet

I increased the sugar in the cookies from the original recipe because I think they need it. The frosting, though, is the perfect compliment. And colors are fun. Be colorful. All the time.

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies

For the Cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Buttercream Icing:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Food coloring
Sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.

3. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Flatten out to 1½ inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.

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4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

5. Flour the countertop and the top of the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes in the upper rack of your oven (my bottoms browned too much from being at the middle rack), until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Cook cookies completely before frosting.

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6. To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and the pinch of salt. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at medium-high speed for a minute or two until light and fluffy. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined. You may have to scrape down the sides so that the food coloring distributes.

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7. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. These cookies aren’t the best if you take them out of the fridge, but the frosting does start to lose shape at room temperature.

Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop. This part confuses me but just do it. Save your impression for when these cookies are at their peak. I ate my cookies TWO DAYS  later and oh my god, I loved them so much more. It was like the butter of the frosting has started to soften the cookies or something. I went from unimpressed to obsessed.

 

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