Heart-y Cookies

heart cookiesweb

 
Happy Valentine’s Day!
 
Naturally, I have something chocolaty for this month’s installment in my Twelve Cookies of Christmas series.
 
Today’s chocolate sugar cookies were cut into hearts (although they could certainly be trees or stars or reindeer in December) and iced with a basic butter icing.
 
They tasted wonderful.
 
Royal icing would have been prettier and easier to transport than the butter version we used on the cookies—but royal is harder to make and harder to keep. It has to be used right away or it dries out.
 
I wanted my icing simple and foolproof to use because I had a vision of a bunch of children happily decorating and eating cookies—a vision that came true.
 
cookie joyweb
 
My nephew Michael and his friends in Virginia have been snow crazy this week. No one has been to school. Sleds and snowballs have replaced electronic games (well, almost).
 
We called around the neighborhood a couple of days ago and asked whether anyone would like to take a break from the snow and come decorate cookies.
 
We ended up with eleven joyful children gathered around the kitchen table slathering icing and tossing sprinkles around.
 
The resulting cookies were heavily decorated. (We actually ended up making a double batch of icing to make sure there was enough.)
 
And they were VERY popular. The pictures above and below were taken with a cell phone (my battery ran out of steam at the critical moment) so they’re a little fuzzy, but you can see that our gang had a really good time. One of them was camera shy so we have only ten in the group photo.
 
If you enjoy these cookies half as much as the kids did, you’ll be happy indeed………
 
kidswithcookiesweb
 
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
 
Ingredients:
 
for the cookies:
 
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter at room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
 
for decoration:
 
1 recipe (2 if you MUST) butter icing (see below)
lots of festive sprinkles
 
Instructions:
 
Cream together the butter and the sugar. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the baking powder, salt, and cocoa, followed by the vanilla. Stir in the flour.
 
Chill the resulting dough, covered, for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
 
On a nonstick surface (a silicone mat or a marble board) pat the dough out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut it into the desired shapes.
 
Bake the cookies on parchment- or silicone-lined cookie sheets for 10 to 12 minutes. They should be solid but not rock hard.
 
Let the cookies cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes before removing them to a rack to cool. Let them cool completely before frosting them with butter frosting (see below) and sprinkling the heck out of them.
 
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
 
Butter Icing
 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter at room temperature
confectioner’s sugar to taste (probably between 1 and 2 cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla
milk if necessary to stir
a couple of drops of food coloring (optional—I used my sister-in-law’s Wilton food coloring, which was excellent; I’ll have to get some!)
 
Instructions:
 
Beat the butter until it is fluffy; then add confectioner’s sugar. Beat in the vanilla. Add milk and/or more confectioner’s sugar until the icing is spreadable.
 
Truffle wasn't allowed to eat any cookies, but she loved being with the kids anyway. They are all her Valentines.

Truffle wasn't allowed to eat any cookies, but she loved being with the kids anyway. They are all her Valentines.

 

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8 Responses to “Heart-y Cookies”

  1. Laurie says:

    What a great way to spend the day! so glad you got the snow and not here in Massachusetts! Happy Valentines Day!

  2. E. Sheppard says:

    I love catching up with you and reading your stories here on Our Grandmothers Kitchens. The dog is so cute and all the kids too. What a happy time for everyone.

  3. Anne says:

    Hi Tinky, it all sounds delicious … but I don’t know what sweet butter and Dutch process cocoa are!! Love, Anne
    ps – the kids look like they had lots of fun

  4. tinkyweisblat says:

    Thanks, all. We DID have fun.

    Anne, sweet butter just means unsalted.

    Dutch process cocoa is also known as alkalized cocoa powder. It’s treated to remove some of the acidity in cocoa and is milder than standard cocoa. If they don’t have it near you, you could use regular unsweetened cocoa but maybe substitute baking soda for half of the baking powder (since soda works well with the acidity of regular cocoa).

    Have fun, and happy Valentine’s Day…….

  5. BumbleVee says:

    I hope you were more clever than I……having given away my heart shaped cutters…I had to cut around bits of paper hearts for mine. Sigh… a lot of work later… … we finally had cookies…. silly me.

    I have to say chocolate cookies would have been pretty tasty… next time….

  6. tinkyweisblat says:

    BumbleVee, you are far braver than I! One year when I couldn’t find the heart cutters I did draw hearts on round cookies, but that’s about as far as I go…….

  7. Alysa says:

    Thanks to you, Tinky, I have been enjoying way too many chocolate sugar cookies! :) Fresh baked in my mother’s kitchen. I think they may be my new favorite! (Old favorite: grandma’s chewy wheat germ brownies)

  8. tinkyweisblat says:

    Grandma’s brownies sound pretty good to me. But chocolate always appeals. Thanks for stopping by, Alysa……

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