Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies

Lofthouse sugar cookies are the cookies of my childhood – you know, those soft white cookies from the grocery store that have colorful frosting and sprinkles on top? My sixth grade teacher used to bring them in every Monday, for no reason other than to make Mondays a little more bearable. One of the most coveted “jobs” (line leader, table washer, chalkboard cleaner, etc.) was to pass out those cookies, because that meant you got first pick at the frosting color you wanted. I used to be convinced that the different colors were different flavors…

Sadly, I didn’t flavor these orange ones with orange extract and the pink ones aren’t pink lemonade flavored. I wanted to try to make them look and taste as close to the original as possible. Apparently, the original Lofthouse recipe is kept under wraps and nobody has found an exact dupe for it – this recipe doesn’t taste exactly the same either, but it’s close enough for me! The cookies have that ‘deliciously soft’ texture, the same buttery aftertaste, and the crunch from the sprinkles on top. I mean, I already ate two of them today, and these are BIG cookies!

You can’t blame me for indulging, though… I associate smells with time periods of my life. Certain cookie smells remind me of the person I first baked them for, lots of different Bath & Body Works scents bring me back to the grade I was in when I wore them, and that smell in the air on a crisp fall night makes me wish I was in a cheerleading uniform again. There’s even a Victoria’s Secret lotion that I associate with the same sixth grade teacher that bought us Lofthouse cookies every Monday. Scents trigger memories, and the scent of these cookies makes me so nostalgic.

I even managed to package these like the store-bought ones! I’m always at a loss for how to package baked goods, but I saw these plastic salad bar containers when I was at the grocery store… I don’t know about you, but I’d take a box of cookies over a box of salad any day! And they fit perfectly, which was the icing on the cake :)

Recipe: Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 5 cups flour + 1 cup for adjusting texture + lots more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups light sour cream

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 5-8 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

For the cookies:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk 5 cups of flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.
  2. 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 after each one. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream at low speed until combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough needs to obtain the right consistency for rolling, so add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until this is achieved (up to 1 cup more flour). Divide dough into two sections. Flour a surface, and flatten each section of dough into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, or spray them with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  5. Generously flour a work area and rolling pin. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until pale golden. The bottoms should not be brown. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

For the frosting:

  1. Cream together the butter and vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar one or two cups at a time at low speed. Once smooth and creamy, add in 5 tablespoons of heavy cream, and then add the rest 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired spreading consistency is achieved.
  2. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit overnight before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

Quick notes

As tempting as it is to eat these right out of the oven, it is worth the wait for the flavors to meld!

Variations

Use gel food coloring in the frosting to make them suitable for any occasion – the possibilities are endless!

Number of servings (yield): 4 dozen cookies

Adapted from The Novice Chef

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