Sunday, May 19, 2013

Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting


This is the first post I write in a very long while where I don't really have anything else on my mind.  I mean, I do have other things on my mind, I guess, but they're small things: go to the gym, do laundry, pack, find a chance to go to the Met one last time, etc.  Nothing major, really, and it's so nice!  It's so great to have no other papers, assignments, or projects to think about.  Ahhh, the joys of being finished with college!  I've been able to take it easy ever since Wednesday, and I've done almost nothing.  Really.  I've taken naps when I've gotten sleepy, and I haven't had to feel guilty about it; I had a picnic in Riverside Park, just because it was a beautiful day; I've taken my time at the gym, since I don't have to rush my workouts to squeeze them in in-between classes.  Being done with college feels so good.


And then, there's the part that does not feel so good.  That thing called commencement?  It's happening, this Tuesday and Wednesday, to be exact.  That thing called packing and moving back home?  It's happening way too soon.  That thing called REAL LIFE?  I don't even want to think about it!  I'm not ready, neither physically nor mentally for any of it.  It's not that I'm not excited about graduation and entering "the real world,"it's just that I've had such an amazing four years at Columbia, and there's so much I wish I could have done had I had the chance.  I wish I could have taken a few more crazy classes outside the architecture department, just for fun; I wish I had eaten more slices of Koronet's pizza and had more of Tom's famous milkshakes; I wish I had made more of an effort to visit new up and coming museums, and I wish I had learned to drink coffee earlier in my college career, so that I could have stayed awake and been more active in all of my classes, because damn, I was really fortunate to have taken classes with incredibly smart and interesting classmates and professors, and I sometimes feel like I missed out on truly learning what was being taught.  In the end though, I loved every moment of college (even if I didn't know it at the moment, aka, the weekend before every design studio final review), and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I've made amazing friends, met inspiring professors, grown into my own person, and affirmed my love of New York City and Columbia.  As excited as I am to excited to see what comes next, I think that for now, I'm going to continue to live in this mini panic mode of "oh-my-god-I'm-graduating-the-day-after-tomorrow-wtf."  


If there is one thing I'm really, really, really excited for, now that I'm done with school and have a lot less on my plate, is the simple fact that I'll have more time to spend on the blog.  I can bake recipes at a more leisurely pace, rather than have legitimate baking marathons every time I went home, where I would try to crank out between 6 and 7 recipes, complete with photos, in a matter of two days so that I would have recipes to last me a month or so while I was at school.  I'm excited to get the opportunity to start baking on a whim, and to work on more complex recipes.  Baking an entire layer cake with different frostings and fillings, or baking perfectly fluffy loaves of bread were not featured as much as I would have liked on the blog, simply because, well, those recipes were just too impractical to try to fit into a baking marathon weekend schedule!  Stay tuned for those though.  I'm itching to make a fancy layer cake, and with Father's Day happening in about a month, you know I'll be making loaves of tasty bread for him, and to share with you guys!  For now though, we'll just have to settle for some soft chocolate sugar cookies with peanut butter frosting.  Although...are we really just settling with this recipe?    


The answer is no, we're definitely not settling.  These cookies are seriously ahhh-mazing, so even though they're nowhere near as involved as a layer cake or fluffy loaf of bread, to say that we're merely settling for them instead is just completely and utterly inaccurate.  I mean, who doesn't love soft frosted sugar cookies? I have yet to meet that person.  A guilty pleasure of mine are the soft frosted sugar cookies from the supermarket, the ones that come stacked up in plastic boxes and are covered in sprinkles.  They're just sooo good, and even though I am always a fan of going the homemade route with baked goods, there's just something about supermarket sugar cookies that I can't get over.  I have no shame in admitting this, because I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way!  This chocolate and peanut butter version is just as good though, if not better! The chocolate cookie is perfectly soft, and is only lightly sweetened, which is perfect for me.  I loved the flavor of the peanut butter frosting, and while I thought it was a little too sweet when I tried it by itself, I thought that its sweetness worked perfectly with the chocolate cookie.  


This recipe is perfect for bake sales, large parties, or insane cookie cravings, because it makes A LOT of cookies!  I usually try to keep track of how much a recipe will yield, but with this recipe, I think I ate one too many plain cookies as I was frosting them to get an accurate number.  There were at least 5 dozen frosted cookies when I was finished though, so that should give you a sense of how many cookies one batch of this recipe will make.  The recipe can be easily divided in half though, in case you're not having a bake sale, large party, and only have a moderate cookie craving, orrrr, just have a lot of self restraint.  Whatever the reason you make these, people will love'em!  My suitemates and all my studio friends certainly did.  Enjoy!

Soft Sugar Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting
recipe from Alaska from Scratch

Ingredients

For the Cookies

2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup Greek yogurt

For the Frosting

1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk

Directions

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs, followed by the vanilla and Greek yogurt, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture is incorporated.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. The dough will be sticky at this point!


Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, and divide the dough in half.  Shape each half into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. 

Remove the discs of dough from the fridge, unwrap them, and turn them out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out circles of dough using a 2-3 inch round cutter, gathering the scraps and re-rolling until all the dough has been used.  


Arrange the circles of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, and bake for 7 minutes, until the cookies have set.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack, and allow them to cool completely. 


While the cookies are baking and cooling, prepare the peanut butter frosting.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the peanut butter and butter.  Add the vanilla and the salt. Lower the mixer speed, and add the powdered sugar.  The frosting will begin to turn very crumbly at this point. Slowly add the milk, mixing until the frosting comes together and becomes light and creamy.  


Once the cookies have cooled, frost the cookies with the peanut butter frosting, and decorate with sprinkles, if using.  Apply the sprinkles directly after frosting each cookie so that they will stick to the frosting.  Enjoy!

Makes about 5 dozen frosted cookies

4 comments:

  1. These are too cute! I bet they taste so much better than the store brand, too.

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  2. Congrats on graduating, Nina! As a college student myself, I can only imagine the mix of emotions come commencement... baking is definitely a good (and delicious!) escape.

    These cookies looks SO good. Something about them (might be the type of sprinkle...?) feels homey, nostalgic, and all-around inviting.

    Again, congrats & best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm actually waiting in line for the graduation procession to begin as I'm writing this, and it feels so surreal!

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