Heart Sugar Cookies

So here’s recipe 2 of 3.  I made decorated cookies: Flower Cookies last month, and I loved them.  They take a simple sugar cookie to the next level.  I wanted to try this technique again for Valentine’s Day.  I baked these up with some members of my crew team.  What a great idea!  They came up with some awesome and creative patterns for these cookies.  We all had a great time, but afterwards, we were all going through sugar withdrawal.  Lots of icing will do that to you.

Let’s get started with the recipe.  Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Beat butter and sugar until creamy.

Creamy?  Yes, sir!

Add in egg and extracts.

These extracts, especially almond extract, gives these cookies their distinctive flavor. On the left is my jar of homemade vanilla extract.  It’s starting to get dark and rich.

Add in the flour, salt, and baking powder.  The  recipe calls for you to mix these ingredients up ahead of time.  This is so you don’t overbeat the dough once you’ve added the flour. If you overbeat, your cookies will be tougher.  I don’t always follow this step.  Today, I didn’t.  Tomorrow I might.  Do what floats your boat, sinks your ship, toots your horn…

Mix in the flour mixture just until combined.

Once we had mixed in all of the flour, we tried to form our dough into a ball for rolling.  The dough was still very crumbly, so we added some water to the dough.  Add water (1-2 tablespoons) until your dough comes together; it will be a tad dry.  That’s okay.

Roll out your dough to 1/4 inch thick.

Cut into desired shapes.  Today, we cut hearts, X and O’s, lips, and a few other random shapes.  I think we had a frog (McNally), some boots, a cat (Seamus), and some gingermen.  Don’t ask questions.

Put these shapes on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.  Let sit a few minutes on cookie sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Now for the icing: Beat egg white powder and powdered sugar until mixed.  Add in water and almond extract.

Beat for 6-8 minutes until the icing is thick and glossy.  If you’re using an electric mixer, beat on high.  I don’t have a mixer at school, so I had my crew friends use their superior strength to beat that frosting into submission.

Here’s Jen telling that icing who is boss!  Although, others (thanks Jane, Vittoria, Caroline, Hackett, and Karen) helped her, so I wanted to give credit where credit is due.

Your icing will be pretty thin.  This how you want it.  Someone suggested it was similar to Elmer’s glue.  That’s the thickness (or even a little thinner) that you want.

Divide your icing into smaller bowls and add food coloring to get your preferred colors.

We made red, pink, and white.  Put each of these colors in a sandwich bag.

Now here comes the fun part.  Decorate your cookies however you desire.  The icing hardens when exposed to air so work with one cookie at once.

Here are some examples of some cool designs we created today.

Here’s a frog that is ready for love.  The weird spot in the middle is where someone bumped the cookie before it was dry. Tsk, tsk!

There was an X to go with this O, but it broke.

Random circle cut-out but a cool design:

Use your imagination and be creative!

Enjoy!

Recipes from: Bake at 350 and About.com

Recipe: Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies

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