The dough for these buttery iced cookies is delicate; if it becomes too soft, work with a smaller portion of dough at a time. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2013 Heartland issue with the story No Place Like Home.
- 3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1⁄3 cup milk
- 3-6 drops yellow food coloring
- 3-6 drops red food coloring
- Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tsp. vanilla. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until a soft dough forms. Divide dough in half and shape each piece into a flat disk. Wrap disks in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 325°. On a lightly floured surface, and working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll dough 1⁄8” thick. Using a flower-shaped or other cookie cutter, cut dough and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing cookies 2″ apart. Reroll and cut scraps. Bake until golden, 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool completely.
- Whisk remaining vanilla with confectioners’ sugar and milk in a bowl until smooth. Transfer about 1⁄4 cup icing to another bowl. Stir yellow food coloring into the larger amount and red coloring into the smaller amount, making a pale pink icing. Spread a layer of yellow icing over cookies and place a dot of pink icing in the center of each; let icing set before serving.