Nearly every grocery store Iâ€™ve ever entered has had some version of a Lofthouse cookie. It seems to be standard to carry these ultra-soft, ultra-sweet vanilla cookies topped with fluffy frosting in an array of pastel colors, embellished with a finish of sprinkles.
Iâ€™ll admit that Iâ€™m neither much of a frosting nor sprinkle gal, but always find my eye drawn to these cookies, with an occasional lapse where I buy some. My parents had a fondness for them, tooâ€¦I can still remember them selecting â€” out of all the baked goodies at Country Mart in Abilene, Kan. â€” a package of these cookies, whose melting-soft sweetness was to be savored with hot coffee later at home.
I mean no disrespect to the grocery store versions of the Lofthouse-style cookie, but sometimes they can be wanting. Iâ€™ve had some that were all sweetness with no flavor, or too much frosting, or too dry. It can be a crapshoot with any grocery store cookie, because homemade is always best, really.
[I] was also inspired to make the cookies because of some designer Fourth-of-July sprinkles I had acquired. Though Iâ€™m not a sprinkle gal, I have to admit that there are so many fun sprinkles out there these days, it just begs to make things upon which to scatter them.
[T]he recipe in Parksâ€™ cookbook has you first making the frosting in your stand mixer, then using the same bowl (no need to wash), to make your cookie dough. The glaze is a simple mix of powdered sugar, salt, cream and vanilla. I divided the glaze into two small bowls, keeping part of the frosting white and adding a light teal color to another bowl of the glaze.
[T]he dough begins with creaming butter and sugar with the baking powder and salt.
[E]gg whites (key to keeping the dough light) are whisked with heavy cream and vanilla, then added in 4 to 5 additions to the butter mixture, scraping the bowl down halfway through to make sure all is thoroughly combined.
[A]t low speed, cake flour (another light element) is added to the butter mixture to form a soft dough, similar to a thick poundcake batter.
[I]n the recipe in Parksâ€™ book, the dough is piped onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, but the online version of the recipe has you scooping the dough out. Iâ€™m sure there are pros for both methods, but not being too handy with a pastry bag (Iâ€™m working on it), I opted for the scooping method.
[T]he cookies puffed and spread out to desirable, golden rounds, smelling whole lot like vanilla cake. I waited for them to cool before proceeding with frosting and sprinkling.
[T]he frosting was really light, fluffy even, for a thinner type of glaze. I used a small spoon to dole some out on the center of each cookie and then spread it slightly with a small offset spatula.
[S]ome of the glaze ran a little bit, so I went with a less-is-more approach and used a bit less glaze to keep it just enough to cover the cookies, but not run over too much on the sides.
[I] took my new patriotic sprinkles, along with two other bottles of colored sprinkles, and enjoyed flicking festiveness all over the white- and teal-glazed cookies, enjoying a rare foray into the fun of embellishing frosted items (maybe I need to do more).
[I] couldnâ€™t wait to try one, and I wasnâ€™t disappointed. Far from the sugary blandness of store-bought, these light-as-air cookie/cakes were buttery and flavorful, and the glaze was yummy, too, most likely from using rich cream rather than milk or water. What a treat! They looked so festive, too. A cookie worth celebrating!
For the recipe, go to https://www.seriouseats.com/soft-frosted-sugar-cookies-homemade-lofthouse.