Soft Sugar Cookies (No Roll) with Eggnog Frosting

cookies adapted from: Annie's Eats

4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

4 1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 1/2 c. sugar

3 large eggs

3 tsp. vanilla extract

Eggnog Frosting

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed.  Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.  When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet(s), placing 2 inches apart and flatten slightly.  Bake 10-12 minutes (mine took 14 min.) or until just set.  Do not overbake.  The edges should be no more than very lightly browned if browned at all.  Let cool on baking sheet for several minutes.  Cool completely and frost with Eggnog Frosting.  Yield: 4 dozen cookies.   

Jenn's Notes: I loved that I didn't have to roll-out these cookies!  I had a hard time figuring out exactly how long to bake them and I was worried, because the recipe said to not overbake.  My first batch I went 12 minutes and they were not done.  I finally figured out that about 14 minutes was perfect.  The night I made these they were not my favorite, but the next day they were really really good!  They are very very soft, but they are pretty heavy.  I will make them again!

Whipped Eggnog Frosting
original recipe from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
eggnog version from: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 Tbl. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. store-bought eggnog
2 tsp. vanilla extract
24 Tbl. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
a few shakes of nutmeg, to taste

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.  Slowly whisk in the eggnog until the mixture is smooth.  Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan and pour the eggnog mixture through the strainer into the saucepan.  Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and is thick enough that it starts to become difficult to easily whisk.  This could take anywhere between 5-10 minutes, depending on your stove, heat, etc.  It should bubble quite a bit at the end (be careful of the splatters) and thicken considerably.  

Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cool to room temperature – this is extremely important!  If it is even slightly warm, the frosting won’t beat up properly.  I refrigerated my initial mixture overnight.  If you do this, make sure to pull it out in time to let it warm back up to room temperature.  If you try to proceed with the rest of the recipe and the mixture is too cold, the butter won’t absorb into the frosting like it should.  Once the frosting is completely cooled to room temperature (it should have no hint of warmth at all!), beat the mixture with the vanilla on low speed until it is well combined, about 30 seconds (a stand mixer will work best for this). Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat the frosting until all the butter has been incorporated fully, about 2 minutes. Add a few shakes of nutmeg.  Taste and add more if desired.  Increase the speed to medium-high and let the mixer work it’s magic. Beat the frosting for five minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Let the frosting sit at room temperature until it is a bit more stiff, about 1 hour.  Yield: about 4 cups (enough for a two-layer 9-inch cake) 

Jenn's Notes:  I seriously loved this frosting.  I loved the flavor and the texture.  It is light like whipped cream, yet more sturdy (it holds its shape very well) and it is not too sweet.  I can't wait to try a plain vanilla version and a chocolate version.  This might become my new go-to frosting!  I cooked mine until it looked like a thick pudding and let it cool overnight in the fridge.  The next day, I got it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before whipping.  Something magic happens when you whip it.  It turns from a small bowl of pudding to a big bowl of whipped yumminess!  It still tastes amazing several days later!