If there is one cookie that has been so elusive to me, it’s the soft sugar cookie.  I’m not talking about the delectable cookies I use for my royal icing-decorated cookies either – those I’ve got managed and handled. See, Kyle and I love these soft sugar cookies from the bakery at our grocery store which have this incredible frosting on them and we’ve been making various kinds of sugar cookies and frosting recipes for months trying to find the one that can live up to our standards of the store cookie.

And we’ve finally found THE cookie thanks to The Tate’s Bake Shop cookbook. They were spot-on what we were hoping for and they even contained a little extra special tang from the sour cream they are made with.  And the frosting we topped them with (not from Tate’s but see below for the recipe) couldn’t have been more outstanding! These are drop sugar cookies that don’t require all that chilling and rolling that other sugar cookies do – definitely a plus in my book! – and start to finish, they can be ready in well under an hour. If you don’t know about Tate’s, it’s a long-standing and much beloved bake shop in Southampton, NY (shout out to my fellow Long Islanders!) and is so highly regarded that Ina Garten stocked her Barefoot Contessa store for years with Tate’s baked goods and subsequently wrote the foreword in the Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook.  And coincidentally, Kathleen’s peanut butter frosting recipe (featured in this book and in Barefoot Contessa at Home) has been my go-to recipe for almost 3 years now…it’s incredible!!

To celebrate these fantastic sugar cookies, I’m giving away one copy of Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook and an amazing gift box of 3 types of Tate’s Bake Shop cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and white chocolate chip macadamia nut), all courtesy of Tate’s.  You could definitely include these cookies as a hostess gift this holiday season…or pack them into a box of gifts you’re sending cross country…or just eat them yourself when breaking out the Kitchenaid seems like too much work. I plead the 5th. While we didn’t try the macadamia nut cookies (Kyle’s allergies), but the chocolate chip (crispy) and oatmeal raisin (chewy) were excellent. Dipped into a cup of hot coffee (not that they needed to be dipped into coffee), I found myself with a delectable late-evening snack for a few nights until the cookies were gone.  If you’re worried about allergies like I am, you can be assured that the cookies are packaged separately and each package has its own ingredient list (though you should know that all of the cookies are processed in a bakery that also processes tree nuts which is the standard disclaimer on most ingredient labels these days).

Here’s how to enter this giveaway:

  1. Earn 1 entry by leaving a comment in this post by answering this question: “What is your ONE most favorite cookie in the entire world?”
  2. Earn a 2nd entry by following me on Twitter (@smellslikehome) AND tweet this phrase word-for-word: “@smellslikehome is giving away a Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook and cookie gift package – enter at http://tinyurl.com/24qc9d9 (Pls RT!)” THEN copy and paste your tweet into the comments of this post.
  3. Earn a 3rd entry by “Liking” Tate’s Bake Shop on Facebook. Leave a comment on this post letting me know that you’ve done this.

In addition to this giveaway, Tate’s is offering a 15% off coupon for purchases from their site until December 31, 2010 when you use the code “cookie” so if one of your 3 chances here don’t work out, make sure you hop over to the Tate’s website and treat yourself!

The rules:

  1. Enter by midnight Eastern on Sunday December 12th. One winner will be chosen using an internet random number generator and will be notified by email on Monday December 13th.
  2. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

Thank you to Tate’s Bake Shop for providing the cookbook and cookie gift package for this giveaway!


Old-Fashioned Soft Sugar Cookies
source: Kathleen King, Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two cookie sheets or line them with Silpat.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar till the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and egg.  Mix it, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix it again.  Add the sour cream and mix it till it is combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix it until it is combined.

Drop the cookies onto the prepared cookie sheets 3 inches apart. (They do spread.) Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until they are light brown.  Cool them on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes, and remove them to wire cooling racks to cool completely.



Sugar Cookie Frosting
source: adapted from The Repressed Pastry Chef, as seen on Annie’s Eats

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk
Food coloring (optional)

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Blend in the vanilla, salt, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Mix in the milk.  Tint as desired with food coloring.  Spread over the cookies, decorate (if desired), and serve.  The frosting will set (but will not be hard) after about 15 minutes.