Let's get something straight: I cannot stand when people title their recipes "The Best" whatever. In all honesty, think it's a cheap way to package an otherwise boring, traditional recipe. Here at Glazed and Confused, I'm not the biggest fan of promoting recipes without some sort of differentiating element. Everything I post, I try to make sure something is a bit off. Check out my newly-renovated recipe index: there's no straight up chocolate chip cookies (both are based on famous bakeries I love), no basic yellow or white cakes. That's just not how I roll.
Today, I'm breaking my own rules. Call me hypocritical, but sometimes even I crave simple traditions.
Growing up, every trip to the mall was incomplete without a stop in the food court to one of the cookie kiosks. (Or the pretzel place. Or both.) In the midst of an intense mental discourse about whether I should get a slice of cookie cake or one of those super greasy sugar cookies covered in rainbow sprinkles, I was forced to make a decision. The sugar cookie always prevailed.
I don't know what I really liked so much about those cookies. Maybe it was the multiple size options? Or the fact that I could get two of them sandwiched together with a pool of vanilla icing overflowing from the middle? Whatever it was that made me routinely crave these cookies was a mystery.
Once I started baking from scratch, my cravings for these rainbow sugar cookies vanished, so I stopped getting them. Last year, one of these cookie shops (dare I call it a bakery) opened in town. Even though I figured that my palette had advanced far beyond food court sugar cookies, I decided to give one a shot. Yep, it did nothing for me.
I didn't understand. How could my childhood obsession just totally disappear? Still, the nostalgia of these sugar cookies was there. I could even taste their deliciousness. I had to do something about this.
(Can we stop for a second and take a moment to acknowledge how absurdly obsessed I am with sugar? I'm practically writing a saga about $2 cookies. I digress...)
For a while, I tested a handful of sugar cookie recipes to no success. I even tried out numerous apparent copycat versions of the objects of my childhood desire. Nope, nothing. And then finally, I found the one.
These cookies are perfect. They are creamy, buttery, sugary, vanilla-y, delicious-y, amazing-y, etc. Dare I say it, but they are worlds better than anything you can get in a mall. (Gasp!) The secret? Melted butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream. Even better, there's no mixer required, just a little elbow grease. Roll the balls in some rainbow sanding sugar et voila! "The Best" sugar cookies ever.
The Best Sugar Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (3 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- rainbow sanding sugar or sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the sugar, cream cheese, and melted butter in a large bowl and whisk. The mixture will form a smooth paste. Mix in the vegetable oil. Stir in the egg, cream, and vanilla. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Gently fold in the dry ingredients.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes.
Scoop out tablespoons of dough and roll in sugar. Place on baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool. Eat. Repeat.