My first experience with the mythical Lofthouse sugar cookie was a mere 2 months ago.
I had spent the day shopping in Northern Virginia, traipsing from mall to mall, spice store to cheapie, cool, home store. I had a car loaded full of cosmetic, fashion, and prop hauls. I began the drive home, peaceful and exhilarated, envisioning the unwrapping of goodies that would begin after the hour ride home.
Approximately 30 minutes into the ride, the zen-like state had dissipated, replaced by a feeling that can only be described as being effing hungry. And thirsty. And cranky because I’m hungry and thirsty.
I knew that I’d be coming home to a house of 3 excited dogs and 1 inquisitive husband. They’d want to hear all about my travels and insist I pet them, rub their belly, throw the ball.
In my current state of mood, I would have levitated. So I needed to stop for a snack, like, real soon. I stumbled into the first grocery store I came across and 2 minutes later came out with a diet soda the size of a bucket and a plastic box of those pink frosted cookies I’d heard so much about.
While I have no recollection of the remaining ride home, I arrived in my driveway in a glassy-eyed state, crumbs in my lap, and distant aching in my jaw. Oh, and a resolve to make a batch of my own copycat cookies, with a list of ingredients I could pronounce.
I took my inspiration from the many Lofthouse-style cookie recipes floating around the internet and blog world, opting for shortening instead of butter. Because I recall a straight on cakey vanilla cookie with a sugar wallop that made my ears ring but no buttery notes.
Birthday Cake Cookies
(adapted from Recipesecrets.net)
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour (plus more for rolling)
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
food coloring, if desired
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk powder, and salt.
In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, beat the shortening and sugar on until fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, water and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is well-combined. On low speed, add the dry mixture and beat just until the dough starts to come together. Continue stirring the mixture until no streaks of flour appear.
Form the dough into a flat disc, wrap it well in plastic wrap, and chill it for at least 2 hours.
When ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 350.
Sprinkle your dough and rolling surface liberally with flour. Roll the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and form desired shapes with a cookie cutter. Bake on a parchment paper lined sheet for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are set and just beginning to brown. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool them completely before frosting.
For the frosting: Beat butter and shortening until fluffy. With the beater speed on low, add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add the salt, vanilla, milk, and desired food coloring and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Spread the frosting on the cookies.
Yields approximately 26 cookies.Pin It