Lofthouse-Inspired Dream Cookies

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Indulge in the delight of crafting your own soft, pillowy cookies reminiscent of those cherished childhood favorites found in grocery stores. This unique recipe, designed to yield 18 cookies, offers a joyful escapade into the past with its tender crumb, decadent frosting, and vibrant sprinkles.

Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Introduction

Transport yourself back to the golden days of classroom celebrations and summer parties in Texas with these homemade Lofthouse-inspired cookies. A Texan tradition, these cake-like treats adorned with pastel frosting were a rare delight for many. Now, you can recreate that magic in your own kitchen with this exclusive copycat recipe that mirrors the authentic flavors of the iconic store-bought cookies.

The Secret to Softness

What sets these cookies apart is the addition of cornstarch, ensuring an irresistibly soft and tender texture. While some recipes call for cake flour, the use of all-purpose flour blended with cornstarch proves just as effective. Having tested both methods, the difference is negligible, making this recipe accessible and convenient.

Personalizing the Flavor

While almond extract adds a nostalgic touch, it’s entirely optional, especially for those with nut allergies. Enhance the vanilla essence by adding an extra 1/4 teaspoon if you choose to forgo almond extract. The goal is to capture the essence of the artificial flavoring found in the store-bought version.

Frosting Brilliance

For the frosting, unleash your creativity. This recipe employs a buttercream delight with a touch of salt, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Feel free to play with gel or regular food coloring for a burst of color, or skip it altogether; the cookies will be just as delightful.

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or an additional 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract)

For the Frosting and Decorating:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

Making the Cookies:

  1. Soften 1 stick of unsalted butter and 4 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature. Let 1 large egg and an additional stick of butter (for frosting) sit at room temperature.
  2. Whisk together 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
  3. Beat butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar until creamy. Add egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract (if using), then incorporate the flour mixture. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  4. Roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness, cut with a 3-inch cookie cutter, and bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.

Making the Frosting:

  1. Beat 1 stick softened unsalted butter and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt until fluffy.
  2. Gradually beat in 2 cups powdered sugar. Add 1 tablespoon milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add food coloring if desired.
  3. Spread frosting generously on each cooled cookie and decorate with sprinkles.

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead: Prepare the cookie dough up to 3 days in advance or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking.

Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, savoring the softness and nostalgia with each delightful bite.

image source : Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Nicole Rufus