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The Perfect Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!  I sincerely hope that you all have loads and loads of love in your life and that you have lots of love to give!!  I am full of Valentine’s Day.  I have been decorating cookies, cakes, and candies which is absolutely perfect because if you remember earlier this year one of my goals is to become far more skilled in these departments.  I am very pleased to report to you all that I have improved my skills tremendously particularly in the cookie department.  One of the skills that I was trying to perfect was “flooding” the cookies, I have come to learn that this technique is nothing to be fearful of.  If you are trying to perfect your cookie decorating skills I highly recommend checking out these sites:  Sweetapolita, Sweetopia, Bake at 350,  or Glorious Treats.

Now, enough about me let’s talk sugar cookies!  These sugar cookies really are perfect!  Sugar cookies are very simple to make.  Although, a wee bit time consuming with chilling the dough, these perfect cookies are well worth the wait!  These sugar cookies are crisp, sugary and vanilla-y just what a sugar cookie should be, according to Rosie at Sweetapolita.  Sugar cookies are the perfect canvas for cookie decorating, too!  The dough provides a nice flat surface on which you can create all sorts of beautiful designs or images.  If you are going to decorate your cookies you will also require some royal icing for the job.  I have included the best recipe for royal icing that I have found, courteous of Sweetopia.  I usually use egg whites but I have discovered meringue powder and I am in LOVE!!  The recipe below is the very best for cookie decorating it provides a beautiful consistency that is easy to work with and it always sets just perfectly!

The Perfect Valentine’s

3 cups  sifted all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened for about 20 minutes at room temperature
1 cup  sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract

To Prepare

In large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.
Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla and lemon extract.

Steps to the perfect rolled dough

Remove 1/2 of dough from bowl, make a ball, and place on a large piece of plastic wrap on counter.
Wrap the sides of wrap over the ball, then press down with the palm of your hand and make a disc about 2″ thick. Finish wrapping the disc with the plastic wrap. Repeat with 2nd half of dough.
Chill both discs of dough for about 45 minutes.
Remove one disc and remove plastic wrap. Place on top of a large piece of parchment paper, then place 2 wooden dowels on either side of your dough, then another sheet of parchment paper.
Roll dough so it’s flush with dowels–they will ensure that your dough is even thickness.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Slide your parchment paper and dough onto a board, then place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
Remove from fridge, and cut your shapes using the cutters of your choice, placing them on a baker’s half sheet lined with a Silpat Mat, with 2″ clearance around each one and the edge of sheet.
Place sheet with cookies into freezer for 15 minutes before baking. Then bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
Cool sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes, then gently remove cookies and place on wire racks to finish cooling.
May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. They also freeze well.

Makes 15 medium/small mixed shaped cookies
Source Sweetapolita

The Perfect Royal Icing

3/4 cup warm water
5 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2.25 lbs (1 kg) icing sugar

To Prepare

Measure 3/4 cup warm water into a glass measuring cup.  Add the meringue powder, and whisk for 30 seconds.  Add the cream of tartar to the meringue powder mixture, whisk for an additional 30 seconds.  Add all of the icing sugar into the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the meringue mixture to the icing sugar and beat on low for 10 minutes.  Remove the royal icing from the bowl of your electric mixer and place it in an air tight container with a damp paper towel covering it, this will prevent it from drying out.  Tint the royal icing as required.

Source Sweetopia
For more on royal icing check out this informative video.

Cookie decorating is something that requires patience and practice, that’s it.  At first, I thought I would never be able to flood a cookie without seeing the lines, but in a short amount of time I have accomplished my goal 🙂  Thanks to all of the wonderful bloggers out there who take the time to make these wonderful tutorials so that we can all learn and become more skilled at our craft!  I heart all of you and your work 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day
From our kitchen to yours,
Sydney Jones

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2012 10:08 am

    Too cute! Love ’em!

  2. February 16, 2012 4:56 pm

    Aw, they’re adorable – and you’ve decorated them just perfectly! I loved watching your video as well – I’m jealous because you seem to have a work area filled with nice light. You should see my kitchen… it’s just terrible, at all times of day for light!

  3. February 16, 2012 6:29 pm

    Thanks Charles! They are quite fun to bake and decorate. I am very fortunate to have lots of windows with no obstructions so the light just floods in. Is there anywhere you can shoot outside? I have done that a lot. Do you use lights?

    • February 16, 2012 6:42 pm

      It’s a bit chilly to go on the balcony right now, and even then, there isn’t a great deal of room for manoeuvring. I’ll have to see what I can do in the summer though 🙂

  4. February 19, 2012 2:23 pm

    How utterly cute, I’m going to adapt these for an easter themed cookie 😀

    • February 19, 2012 4:23 pm

      AWESOME!! I hope you will share them 🙂 I can’t wait to start Easter decorating 🙂


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