It isn’t Valentine’s Day without sweets, and for me, it isn’t Valentine’s Day without beautifully decorated cut out sugar cookies. I usually purchase cookies from the store, but this year I am set on making my own.
There was one problem with my plan this year — I have no heart-shaped cookie cutters. I went out to the store this morning, but unfortunately if it isn’t written down on my list, my memory fails me, and I forgot to look for cookie cutters.
It is snowing pretty heavily again today (will this winter ever end??), so I didn’t really want to make a special trip for some cookie cutters I would use only once a year. Instead, I fashioned cookie cutters out of cardstock covered with foil. It worked perfectly!
If you are in the same boat and are cookie-cutterless, all you need to do is cut card stock into 1 1/2 inch wide strips. Cover each piece tightly in foil, then lay the pieces on top of each other. Staple one side of the short ends together as close to the edge as possible and pull the two pieces backwards to form a heart. Make the hearts as small or as large as you’d like and staple the other ends together, trimming away the excess. These don’t cost much and don’t take up precious cabinet space, and they worked just fine for making about two dozen cookies without falling apart. Score!
This sugar cookie recipe is perfect — buttery cookies with a hint of lemon zest. Decorated with royal icing, they will make a special treat for my three little Valentines (and I will eat plenty, too). I can’t wait to decorate these cookies tonight when they are all asleep so I can witness their eyes light up when they see them tomorrow. Yes, this is how I get my kicks!
What you need to make this cookie dough:
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened (that’s 12 Tbs)
1 Cup of granulated sugar
1 Tbs lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
Sprinkle your salt and baking soda on top of your mixture, then add one cup of flour, mixing on low until incorporated. Add the rest of your flour and mix thoroughly, then roll your dough up in plastic wrap and put in the fridge to rest for at least 1/2 hour.
After your dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and roll out your dough to about 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut your cookies, and place on baking trays lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-9 minutes until they are just becoming golden. Cool cookies on a wire rack completely before frosting and decorating.
For these cookies, I made a half batch of my royal icing recipe. I attempted flooding these cookies to get that professional, smooth look. It took a little time, but it was fun decorating these in different ways. Just like snowflakes, each one is unique.