I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and when I was young, it was a treat to get a Cheryl's Cookie. A couple of decades ago (ahem), walking into a Cheryl's storefront was pretty much like walking into Santa's workshop. The smell was better than any Yankee Candle you'll ever put your nose to. And the long, glass case housed the richest, buttery sugar cookies imaginable. I've been to bakeries from NYC to Paris and have never tasted anything that comes close.
Cheryl sold her company a few years back for alotta moolah. I interviewed her for the magazine once...she's a dynamo businesswoman. Goddess status, in my book. The company has grown a ton after the sale, but its all different now. No storefronts with bakers smearing thick layers of frosting on cooled sugary disks. Everything now is pre-packaged. Which, for this nostalgic girl, is rather heartbreaking.
Recently I bought our first cookie jar. I have no clue why it took over 15 years, but it did. And because there is now a cookie jar, there is also now a weekly cookie at The Smith Homestead.
This week is my attempt at a traditional Cheryl's sugar cookie. Simple ingredients and method, with stellar results. Make this recipe your own! Its so flipping versatile. Add nuts or zest. Peppermint oil or rose water. Shove the dough in your cookie press and make fancy designs. Get the kids involved. Give them as gifts in a couple of months. You get the idea.
As for me, I'll be keeping it simple and channeling some of those memories of childhood. And getting a massive sugar fix.
Cheryl's Cookies Copycat Recipe
For the cookie:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
In mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Form cookies by measuring ¼ cup of batter into the palm of your hand. Shape into a round disk that is approx. ½ inch thick. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Alternatively, you can roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until set, not brown. Do not over bake! Cool on wire racks.
For the frosting:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2T butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring extract
- 2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons milk or water
- Food coloring, optional
Beat together softened butter, vanilla. Slowly add 2 cups powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add milk and beat until smooth. At this point you could add food coloring. I prefer not to….but across the board I have a pretty strong affinity for neutral colors. Baked goods included.