These cookies are a happy medium. Not too much hassle when compared to decorating with royal icing, but enough to show someone you think they are special enough to make a fuss over. They are quite possibly the most sugar laden creations I have ever eaten. The frosting is pretty much like eating the stuffing of an oreo cookie.
By that description, I mean to say, it's good. Way better than any buttercream, so don't give me that I don't eating shortening crap. It no longer has trans fat, so just enjoy it. Besides, once you taste this filling, you'll realize your beloved oreos are all shortening in their "Stuff!"
The cookies will spread too much if you sub butter. Next time I might add just a little lemon zest, but they are delicious as they are. I know this, because my son (3years old) kept saying "Those look dee-LISH-us" all morning! Until he finally got to eat some up...
Soft Sugar Cookies
Adapted from University of Cookie
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup room temp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)= consider also the zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups AP flour (16.6 oz)
Preheat to 350°F.
Cream butter, shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy.
On medium speed combine the eggs and vanilla until mixed well, and lemon zest, if adding.
Over low speed add baking powder, salt and flour and mix until it comes together.
Roll into "walnut sized" balls or standard cookie scoop size, placing about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet.
The dough will be sticky.
Bake 8 - 10 minutes until cookie is set but not brown. I am a fan of underbaking.
When cookies are done let them cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and remove to a wire cooling rack.
While cookies are cooling make your frosting-
1/2 cup shortening
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp milk
1 t. vanilla
Cream your shortening and powdered sugar together until smooth, slowly add your milk and vanilla.
Mix until smooth.
Color your frosting if you wish and spread on top of your cookies. Wait until they or cool or the tops may tear. Add sprinkles or disco dust.