Saturday, February 11, 2012
Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies
Having made sugar cookies with royal icing for the first time at Christmas, I was eager for an opportunity to try them again. There's something special about these cookies; they allow for SO much creativity! And if you don't mind spending the time it takes to make them, they can be a lot of fun and incredibly rewarding when you see the finished product. Especially when all your friends comment on how amazing they are ;). The problem was, I couldn't decide what to make. I had seen so many ideas on different blogs, so I settled on 2 different batches to make. The first is the one seen above: classic vanilla sugar cookies decorated as conversation sweet hearts. The second is seen below: a more romantic valentine's day chocolate sugar cookie.
This was also my first time using the 'wet-on-wet' technique- more on that later. One of my favourites was the lips cookie that have S.W.A.K. on them- Sealed With a Kiss!! Love it.
Let's start with the conversation heart cookies first. You can refer to my directions in this post: Baby Shower Cookies. In that post I used almond extract, which I prefer to vanilla. Use whichever according to your own preference, but I find that the almond gives it a more unique taste, and I've found through the feedback of eager tasters that the almond is the preferred flavour.
Onto the chocolate sugar cookies. With the royal icing on these, they tasted like a firmer oreo cookie. I can't decide which I prefer- vanilla or chocolate! What I will say is that the chocolate cookie dough is not nearly as nice to handle as the vanilla. It was a bit crumbly and difficult to work with, which resulted in me throwing out more than I normally would have at the end. I think in the future I will try a different recipe to hopefully get something a little more moist. Nonetheless, the final product was yummy. Give them away as Valentine's Day treats or enjoy them yourself, I won't judge!
2 & 1/2 c. all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 c. dutch-process cocoa (I don't have dutch-process, and so just use normal cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 c. unsalted butter
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour,cocoa, espresso powder and salt; set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar until light an fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. In 3 additions, add the flour mixture at low speed. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured and cocoa-ed surface. (I mixed the 2 of these, then spread on my rolling surface, on my rolling pin, and used it to dip my cookie cutters.)
I put my baking sheets into the freezer for about 8 minutes before going into the oven to help prevent spreading. It works out quite well- when 1 pan is in the oven, another is in the freezer, while another is what I'm currently working on. Every 8-10 minutes or so (how long it takes to bake the cookies) all the pans get rotated.
Bake 8 minutes. Let cool completely before moving onto icing.
Source: adapted from Bake at 350
You can find my recipe for royal icing in this post: Baby Shower Cookies Pin It