Thursday, September 20, 2012

Soft Sugar Cookies for a Baby Shower

You may have noticed, but this is "blogger baby season."  No, no...not me.  (My sister is pregnant with her fourth and that's as close as I'm getting.)
I've heard that in some segements of the population, people actually get together IN REAL LIFE and have baby showers in the SAME SPACE, but this is not one of those showers.  This is a virtual baby shower for our friend Jen of My Kitchen Addition, who is having her first baby...a girl.

Jen was one of the very first bloggers I ever met.  She's kind and sweet and supremely talented...and I'm just over-the-moon happy for her.  She's going to be a *wonderful* mom.

Let's talk about the food, shall we?  I'm bringing soft sugar cookies to the shower.  They're almost like those cookies at the grocery know, those ones your kids BEG for?  (Jen...get ready.  You'll be hearing this begging in about 3-4 years.)  Anyway, these are *almost* like those, but BETTER.

Based on a recipe that Shelly shared over at University of Cookie, these cookies are light, soft and pillowy...and topped with a fluffy, sweet frosting.

Nothing fussy or fancy, but

Oh, and yes, these are made with Crisco. I don't think all butter would give the same result.

Soft Sugar Cookies
{makes 24}

for the cookies:
3 & 1/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup salted butter, cut into chunks
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

for the frosting:
1/2 cup shortening
1 lb. (4 cups) powdered sugar
pinch sea salt
6 TBSP milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening, butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and extracts until well combined.

On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the cookies onto the prepared cookie sheet, 2" apart.  Tuck and stray dough in to prevent crispy, brown edges. (Alternately, measure out the dough in 2 TBSP chunks and roll in a ball.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies look done, but still soft.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting:

Beat the shortening, powdered sugar, and salt slowly until the sugar is incorporated, then raise the speed and beat until well combined.  Slowly add in the milk and vanilla; beat until fluffy.

Divide and tint as desired.  (I used AmeriColor Deep Pink & Lemon Yellow.)  Spread on the cooled cookies and top with non-pareils.

Happy baby, Jen!!!  Enjoy those hazy, sleep-deprived days...they go waaaaay to quickly. ♥

You must go get some snacks from the other hostesses of the shower.  Here they are:


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