Be the Queen of Hearts
It has been long enough since the glut of holiday treats to get out your cookie cutters for Valentine fun, but of course, you can bake cut-outs year ‘round. I prefer small bite-sized hearts, but I’m sure my crew would be amused if I used a dumptruck cutout and drew a heart in the glaze! This recipe can easily be halved if you want a smaller project. Be sure to get your eggs out now to bring them to room temperature, making them more easily dispersed in the batter.
No-Fail Cut-out Cookies
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degreesF with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with cookie cutter. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes (less for tiny cookies). Let sheets cool on wire racks.
Mix 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons cherry juice for the Valentine drizzle, food coloring and water if choosing another color.
Spreadable Icing that dries firm
1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tsp milk, 2 tsp light corn syrup, ¼ tsp almond extract. Beat until smooth and glossy. Add food coloring to desired color intensity.
Happy Valentine’s Day! xo Karen