I remember when I was little, my Mom would bake these sugar cookies for my class every Valentine's Day...I would strut into school like John Travolta carrying these homemade treats, secretly hoping that some kids wouldn't claim theirs so I could eat more...I was a greedy little one! Isabel and I made these together and iced them with a flood consistency royal icing...if you don't like really sweet icing, these cookies are nice plain too!
To make these you will need: butter, all purpose flour, icing sugar, granulated sugar, 1 egg, baking soda, cream of tartar, vanilla and almond extract.
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees...then, using a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) or a large bowl and electric beaters, beat 1 cup of softened salted butter, until creamy (I like to use salted butter for these cookies...I think it adds a bit more flavour...and who doesn't like flavour?!)
Next, add in 1 cup of icing sugar...
...and a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, until light and fluffy.
Add in 1 egg...
...1 tsp. of vanilla extract,
..and a 1/2 tsp. of pure almond extract...beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 tsp. of cream of tartar,
...1 tsp. of baking soda,
...and 2-1/2 cups of all purpose flour. Mix all together with a fork, then gradually pour it into the butter mixture...turning your mixer on to low to incorporate the flour slowly...you don't want your kitchen to look like it has been crop dusted!
Mix only until all of the flour has been blended in...you don't want to overwork your cookie dough.
Turn cookie dough out onto a piece of waxed paper, wrap it up and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Remove from fridge and roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface to the thickness you desire...we like fairly thin cookies, but if you like thick ones, don't listen to me! Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 7-9 minutes or until edges are golden brown...let sit for about 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire cooling rack.
While cookies are cooling, make your icing...you will need meringue powder, icing sugar, warm water, vanilla, piping bags and tips and food colouring if desired.
In a large bowl, mix together 3-3/4 cups of icing sugar and 5 tbsps. of meringue powder (found in the spice section of a bulk store or in the baking section of the grocery store).
Next, add in a 1/2 cup of warm water...(add this in slowly, you may not need all of the 1/2 cup...you don't want your icing too thin.
Combine using a wire whisk or with your stand mixer and the wire whip attachment...I should have used that but I was too lazy to dig it out...in the long run, I ended up with a sore arm from whisking by hand! The icing will be fairly runny but not too runny that it will run off your cookies (which mine
still did a bit).
Split the icing up into smaller bowls and tint with colouring if desired.
Pipe around the outside of the cookie (I used a #3 piping tip for this), then pipe in most of the centre (using a skewer, tooth pick or a scribe tool, spread the icing around to fill in any open spaces.)
Using a #2 piping tip and a different colour of icing, create designs on your cookies...for this one, pipe horizontal lines, then drag your tooth pick or skewer through the line in a vertical motion...creating this fancy shmancy design! You can also pipe dots onto your cookies, dragging the toothpick through each dot, making "hearts"...ovals become "lips" when you start in the middle of each oval, dragging your toothpick left, then repeat step dragging toothpick to the right...then vertically through the top, creating a "top lip".
Let cookies sit on the counter for 12-15 hours, to let the icing dry...A perfect homemade Valentine's gift for young and old!
Valentine's Sugar Cookies
1 cup of softened, salted butter
1 cup of icing sugar
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. of pure almond extract
2-1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of cream of tartar
1. In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy, add in the sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add in the egg and flavourings...beat until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, soda and cream of tartar...mix together then gradually mix it into the butter mixture just until all is combined.
4. Turn out onto waxed paper, wrap it up and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Roll out dough to a desired thickness and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
6. Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
7. Cool on wire racks.
3-3/4 cups of icing sugar
5 tbsps. of meringue powder
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of warm water
food colouring if desired
1. Mix icing sugar and meringue powder together, then pour in the water and vanilla...beat until sugar and meringue powder have somewhat dissolved... Icing should be runny but not so much that it runs off of your cookies.
2. Pipe icing onto cookies and decorate using different coloured icing.
3. Let cookies sit out to dry for 12-15 hours...Enjoy!