Making the cookies, step-by-step
These cookies come together quite easily, simply whisking the dry ingredients together, then adding them to the creamed butter and sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream.
The dough is refrigerated for at least 2 hours because it’s quite sticky when it’s finished mixing.
Once the dough is chilled, you’ll roll it out and use a round cutter to cut out your cookies. I like to use a 2½-inch round cutter, which makes the perfect size cookie for me – not too big, not too small! (I have this set of round cutters that I LOVE.)
The cookies bake for a short time (only 7 minutes) and will still be pale when you remove them from the oven (don’t overbake or they won’t stay soft!), then need to cool completely before being frosted.
Easy buttercream frosting
Like a traditional American-style buttercream, we first whip together the butter and vanilla, then slowly add powdered sugar and salt. Once it’s completely smooth, the heavy cream is added a small amount at a time, then the frosting is whipped on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
However, you can get festive with holiday versions in both flavor and decorations. A couple of examples:
- Add a small bit of lemon extract to the frosting in the spring and summer for a lemon-y flavor.
- Add peppermint extract to the frosting for Christmas.
- Use red and green sprinkles for Christmas-themed cookies (or tint the frosting red or green!).
- Use red, white, and blue sprinkles for the 4th of July.
- Use pastel sprinkles for Easter (or use pastel colors for the frosting!).
And the list goes on!
Storage and freezing instructions
- Storage: These cookies stay fluffy and fresh in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Dough: You can make the dough and freeze the packs of dough wrapped in plastic wrap in a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rolling. You can also freeze the dough rounds once you cut them out; store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Place them on a prepared baking sheet and let sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before baking. (Hint: A post-it with the baking instructions taped to the container will save you, and make a late-night baking session much easier!)
- Freezing Cookies: Once the frosted cookies are set, you can stack them in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper between layers, and freeze for up to 1 month. If you individually wrap each cookie in plastic wrap, they will stay fresh in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
In a cookie mood? Give these a try!
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- Top 10 Favorite Cookie Recipes
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
For the Cookies:
- 6 cups (720 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (340 g) sour cream
For the Easy Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups (452 g) powdered sugar
- Pinch salt
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- 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.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1½ inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- 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, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Cook cookies completely before frosting.
- 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.
- Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.
- Equipment: Round cutters / Gel food colors / Baking sheets
- Seasonal Ideas: Lemon or peppermint extract in the frosting, tinting frosting festive colors, different seasonal sprinkles on top.
- Storage: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Dough: You can make the dough and freeze the packs of dough wrapped in plastic wrap in a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rolling. You can also freeze the dough rounds once you cut them out; store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Place them on a prepared baking sheet and let sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before baking.
- Freezing Cookies: Frosted cookies that have set can be stored in an airtight container (with parchment between layers) for up to 1 month.
- Recipe adapted from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
[Photography by Dee Frances]