I frankly don’t feel there is anything I should have to write about “Pink Cookies”. However, since I can rarely, if ever, keep my thoughts to myself, I feel duty bound to elucidate on the many virtues of this quintessential NW favorite. And yes, I know there are other areas of the world like Provo, Utah and some obscure place in Denmark that claim they were the inspiration for these feel good cookies. Regardless, I have decided to hold firmly to the belief that Uncle Seth, beloved coffee cart cookie guru here in Seattle is behind my whole love affair with these pink frosted delectable sugar cookies. So because I know I am not alone in loving these delightful creations, I decided that Valentine’s Day was the perfect time to share them with our home concert guests. And because it was Valentine’s Day, they simply had to be heart shaped and lightly adorned with multi-colored sprinkles. (Could they really be anything but?)
So I took my favorite sugar cookie recipe, added a cream cheese frosting (tinted pink in deference to the holiday) and whipped up a double batch. And as expected, they were gobbled up by one and all. (Even by my husband who doesn’t like “pink cookies”, or so he says!)
Now for those of you who live in the Pacific NW and don’t know about “pink cookies”, all I can say is – where have you been these last few years? Do you not drink coffee, or ever buy an espresso drink from a coffee cart or stand? I mean really, how could you have missed this treat from heaven? Now of course, if you are from somewhere like Omaha or Cleveland, I can totally understand that coffee may not be an integral part of your life! But you still should know the real reason people drink so much coffee in the Seattle area. That’s right. It’s simply to justify having a nice hot liquid to go with their heavenly pink frosted cookie. There is no other reason that could possibly justify why a sane person (are you listening Mr. C) would spend $4.75 for a drink that actually costs less than $.50 to make at home!
So, if you too are fans of this delightful cookie, bake up a batch at your earliest convenience. And forget making them small. They should be big, and thick, with lots of frosting. And although Uncle Seth doesn’t usually add sprinkles, I personally feel it should be mandatory. There’s just something about sprinkles that smacks of good times and fun. And these cookies are nothing if not fun. Fun to bake, fun to look at, and definitely fun to eat! Thanks Uncle Seth.
- 1½ c. powdered sugar
- 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ tsp. almond flavoring
- 2½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk together the flour, salt, soda, and cream of tartar in a small bowl. Stir into the butter mixture. Place dough on a long piece of plastic wrap. Using your hands, wrap the dough into the plastic gently shaping it into a round log about 2 plus inches wide. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Un-wrap log and slice dough a generous 1/3-inch thick. Arrange slices, about 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined or lightly greased baking sheets. Bake until delicately golden, 12-15 minutes. (Do not under-bake.) Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Add sprinkles if desired. Store in a tightly covered container hidden away from your family.
Note: if you prefer to cut the cookies into shapes, refrigerate dough for 2 hours. Roll out to generous 1/3-inch. (Do not roll any thinner. The thicker the cookie, the better the flavor.) Cut into favorite shapes. Arrange cookies, about 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined or lightly greased baking sheets. Bake until delicately golden for 12-15 minutes in a pre-heated 375 degree oven. (Do not under-bake.) Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- ¼ c. (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4-oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- pinch salt
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- 2-3 c. powdered sugar, or more as needed
- 2-3 drops red or pink food coloring, opt.
- ¼ c. sprinkles, opt.
While the cookies cool, cream the butter, cream cheese, salt, and almond extract until completely smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar to taste and consistency. Slowly add pink or red food coloring, one small drop at a time, until you are happy with the color. Blend until color is evenly distributed throughout the frosting. Frost the cookies and add sprinkles if desired. Allow frosting to harden. Store in an airtight container. Can be made 3-4 days ahead.
Note: If you are storing your cookies in layers, make sure the frosting is good and set before placing between sheets of waxed paper. (I usually let frosting set for at least 2 hours.)