Angie never met a Brooks Brothers suit she didn’t like.

Clad head to toe in matching mid-length jacket and skirt, she prowled the halls of the newspaper, calling sartorial foul on anyone not dressed for her particular brand of success.

“Send her home,” she whispered to the publisher about a receptionist sporting cleavage. (It was a little too much.)

“He’s wearing a sweater!” she howled about the man who’d be my husband.

“Your shoulders are showing,” she informed me one afternoon. I swear I heard her sniff as she walked away.

Oh, Angie.

Lighten up.

I don’t know where Angie is today or if she still sports modest suits. But I thought of her yesterday as I slathered cream cheese frosting between a few dozen cookies.

The cookies were fine. But the frosting made the dish.

In fact, it makes every dish.

This is the icing I turn to for muffins, cupcakes, cookies … any dessert that needs a stylish lift. I found it in Gourmet‘s 2004 cooking tome, as the topping for a banana cake.

I’ve never made the cake. But I whip up this frosting regularly and keep it in the freezer, where I can grab it to dress up whatever I’m baking. It’s gently sweet; slightly tangy; ever so silky and creamy.

Perfectly suited for these red velvet cookies:


I hope Angie would approve.

Best-Ever Cream Cheese Frosting (courtesy Gourmet)

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar

Place all ingredients in a bowl. Whip with a mixer until fluffy. Use immediately or freeze until the baking urge hits you.