Give Your Loved Ones Some Home Made Valentine's Day Cookies
Decorated cookies capture the taste of love.
Cookies made with Love aren't hard to make.
Rolled sugar cookies can be adapted to any holiday, but are particularly festive for Valentine's Day. They can be as elaborate or as simple as the ones I've shown here.
Cookie cutters come in all shapes and sizes. I've collected many through the years at card stores, big box shops and thrifts and yard sales. Anything from a simple heart shape to cupid to XO's will do. If you don't have a cutter, you can draw your shape on cardboard and cut the cookies out with a knife by simply tracing the shape onto your dough, a cutter will save you lots of time if you're doing several.
I use an easy and basic sugar cookie dough. Dump all of this into your mixing bowl and mix well until combined:
3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2-3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Once your dough is mixed, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours. It will be firm enough to roll now and your sugars will have had time to fully dissolve. Don't skip this step.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease your cookie sheets.
Flour your surface lightly and roll out half the dough with a rolling pin. If you like very crisp cookies, roll it very thin. If you like a softer cookie, like I do, roll it 1/8-1/4 inch thick. If you're using a cookie with an imprinted design like my larger hearts and cupids, the cutter will determine just how thick you need to roll. Experiment if you need to get it just right.
Cut out your cookies and place them on your sheet. I try to pick up the cookie while it's still in the cutter, but you can transfer them cut as well.
Brush them with the white of 1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon of water. This will encourage your sugars to stick and not bounce or fall off. You want to just dampen the surface of the cookies where you want your sugars.
Sprinkle or shake on your colored sugars.
Bake for 8 minutes - a little less time if you rolled them very thin, or a bit longer if you cut them on the thicker side. The bottoms and edges should be just lightly browned. Use a pancake turner or long offset spatula to transfer them to a baking rack to cool.
You can use them as is, or add a little piped on icing as I did with these.
White Ornamental Frosting for Cookies
Icing really makes cookies look special, and expensive. This frosting will dry hard in a short period if time and is easy to make and apply.
You'll want to make this in a small but deep bowl or vessel. I find my 2 cup size pyrex measuring pitcher works well, but use what you have. Just be sure it's deep, or you may find yourself spewing powdered sugar all over when you turn on the blender. I learned this lesson once the hard way!
Combine the following in your bowl
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar - the powdered white kind you find in the baking isle of the store
1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter - this helps stabilize your icing so if forms stiff peaks, don't skip.
1 egg white
Use a hand blender or stick blender and mix until peaks form when you pull up the blender from the frosting. This will take several minutes.
Put your icing in a decorating bag fitted with a tip and pipe as desired on your cookies. If you don't have a decorating bag, you can use a heavier plastic zip lock bag, trimming a small bit of one of the lower corners off. Just squeeze gently so the icing flows just above your cookie, there's no need to touch except for starting and stopping your piping.
The cookies will take 45 minutes or so for the icing to fully set.
Once set, just package them up in a plastic bag tied with ribbon, or you can decorate some 1 pound window coffee bags like I did. I decorated mine with some stamps I had on hand and red ink, but you can use your imagination to come up with something special for your special loved ones.