Valentine Sugar Cookies

What a better time to make cutout sugar cookies than Valentine’s weekend?  Especially with pink frosting and sprinkles!!!!  I haven’t mastered the art of making sugar cookies yet…YET.…but this recipe is awfully darn close to perfect. Well, at least, it’s a start.   It is borrowed directly from my very favorite Sallysbakingaddiction.com, who is one of the food bloggers I’ve been following the longest.  These are seriously the best–AND they contain a secret ingredient.

Read on to find out!

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*Note:  Pictures were taken with an iPhone as I was baking at a friend’s house 🙂

This recipe also includes icing! Recipe is included after the cookie directions.  But don’t feel like you have to ice them– these cookies are great plain Jane as well! 

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter- room temperature
  • 3/4 cup- granulated sugar (I used baker’s sugar, also known as superfine sugar,  which made the texture so so so soft)
  • 1 large egg – room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract **Hint- secret ingredient!
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:   * You will need at least an hour for chilling dough, so plan accordingly.  

In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter for one minute, or until smooth.  Add sugar and cream for another few minutes until mixture is light and fluffy.

Add egg, and the vanilla/almond extracts and beat in until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper.

Valentine Sugar Cookies-1

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, powder, and salt.  Pour a third of the dry ingredients (flour mix) into the wet ingredients (in the other bowl) and beat on medium speed until well incorporated.  The dough might be thick and paste-like at this point.   If it’s too sticky, add a few tablespoons of flour to the mix and work it in with your hands until the the texture is more like play-do (a tad drier and easy to mold).

Keep the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.  The chilled dough will firm up the butter, and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.  It will also make forming and cutting out the dough a lot easier!

After chilling the dough, remove from fridge and separate it into two smaller balls.

Valentine Sugar Cookies-2

Preheat oven to 350º F. 

Sprinkle a smooth surface with flour- a silicone baking mat works great!  Use a rolling pin to spread the dough flat to a 1/4″ thickness.  Sprinkle dough and rolling pin with more flour if it sticks to the rolling pin.  Use cookie cutters to create shapes!!!!  This is great fun when creating with family and friends!   I mean, who doesn’t love cookie cutters?  Especially heart-shaped ones!  The dough is also very yummy to eat, but beware the raw egg! 

Using a spatula, transfer the shapes onto a parchment paper-covered baking sheet.  Arrange about 1 inch apart.  They should NOT spread…not even a little bit.

Pop sheets into oven and bake for 7-10 minutes.  The longer they bake, the browner and crunchier they will be.  So for softer cookies of course, leave them in for a lesser amount of time.  Rotate the cookie sheet half way through the baking time. 

Remove cookies from oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before icing.

Ps:  The amount of cookies you get will be determined by how big your cookie cutters are.  I was able to get about 2 dozen.

While cookies are baking, prepare icing.  This recipe may be easily doubled! 

Icing Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

*Food dye to color and sprinkles if desired

Icing Directions: 

In a medium bowl, using a fork or spoon, stir together the powdered sugar and milk.  It will be thick and not very wet at all.  Add the corn syrup and almond extract and continue to mix.  If mixture is too thick add a teaspoon or two of corn syrup to reach a consistency of shampoo.  Do not add more milk or it can become too runny.  If it hardens after a while, give it a good stirring to bring it back to life.  Store covered with plastic wrap and in the fridge  if you intend to keep it longer.

If you want different colors of icing, pour into separate bowls equally, or make another batch in a separate bowl 🙂  I used ONE, count em, ONE drop of red food dye in this batch and it gave me a bright, vibrant pink color.  Remember the more drops of dye you use, the darker/bolder the colors will be.   Stir in to completely blend with the icing and voila! There you have it- beautifully colored sugary perfection right before your very eyes!

Using a spoon, spread icing on completely cooled cookies.  Add sprinkles immediately or icing will set and become too hard to add sprinkles.   And then feast on the sugary goodness set before you!  Yum yum!   Be sure to store these in an air-tight container.  Because of the icing, I would keep them in the fridge.  They should keep for several days.

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Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

Valentine Sugar Cookies-8

Enjoy!

 

PS:  Special thanks to my friend Brook for letting me use her kitchen for this project ^_^

-K


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