But today is February 13th and while I'm not a hopeless romantic (I think of myself much more as a hopeFUL romantic, thank you very much) and I don't need a Hallmark holiday to remind me that I'm lucky in love with an awesome hubby... but regardless I do LOVE a good excuse to bake.
And if anything screams out for the sweetness of cookies, it is absolutely Valentine's Day. So I picked up some heart shaped cookie cutters and made up some traditional sugar cookies.
I uses a slight modification of the cookie recipe in my well worn copy of the Betty Crocker Cookie Book. I also made my first effort at royal icing (inspired by having seen many pretty pictures of the nifty decorations people were doing on valentine cookies all over the internets this week.) I must say I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.
Valentine Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light a fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk and continue beating until creamy.
- Sift the flour and salt together and blend into the butter mixture. Mix together until the mixture forms a smooth dough, but don't overmix.
- Remove the dough from bowl and knead lightly until it forms a ball. Wrap in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour (or up to 2 days).
- When ready to roll out and cut your cookies, pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with baking or parchment paper.
- Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and divide into smaller portions. On a lightly floured board roll out the dough until 1/4 inch thick. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter cut out the cookies.
- Place the cookies onto the baking trays, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they turn a light golden color.
- Remove from the oven and leave on the trays for two minutes to cool slightly, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- When completely cooled, ice and decorate however you wish.