Likely you know Valentine’s Day is next week? Some people look forward to the holiday while others dread it. Many of you tout it as a Hallmark holiday. Regardless of your feelings, it is here to stay, so you might as well embrace it instead of being a curmudgeon (M will continue to be a curmudgeon about it).
For several years now T has hosted Friendsentine’s Dinner. It started almost a decade ago to make sure everyone felt included on Valentine’s day, much like it was back in elementary school. Really that’s the way it should be! Celebrate all the love in your life not just the romantic one. Typically, our group of friends goes to dinner at a new or “hot” restaurant around town. This year we are headed to Public School 214. Braden and I have been before and we love their bacon cheddar tater tots! T is super excited about dinner, and she always brings a treat with her for all the guests. She had been looking for a fun treat to attach to her Llama themed valentines and went with the recipe below!
Meanwhile, M is melting down upstairs because the valentines her kids picked can no longer get here in time for Valentines day. Amazon get it together! You are supposed to be the most amazing shopping center. I guess that’s what happens when every mom in America has that Prime membership.
So now we both need valentines and/or treats. SO dun dun dunnah! Enter these delicious Valentines Cookies. This is a recipe idea adapted from a Pinterest find. This sugar cookie recipe is the one T uses for Christmas cookies. It takes NO time to chill, which is amazing. and produces great dough for cookie cutting.
Valentines Day Cookies
1 C Unsalted butter, softened
1 C granulated sugar
1 Large egg, room temperature
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 C all purpose Flour
Pink Gel Food Coloring (or red or purple!)
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using your mixer, beat the butter and sugar until combined. Mixture should be light and fluffy!
Step 2: Beat the egg, vanilla, and almond extract into the mixture. Be sure to scrape the sides if needed to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. In a separate bowl combine the salt, baking powder, and flour.
Step 3: While mixing, gradually add your flour mixture a little bit at a time until flour is fully combined. (*I usually dump about 1/2 c. at a time)
Step 4: Gather your dough into a ball. Break off half of it and set aside in a bowl. Leave the other half in the mixer. Add your gel food coloring. YOU DON’T NEED MUCH. Add a few drops at a time and mix until fully combined. Add additional drops as needed to get your desired color. (Keep in mind that the final product will be slightly lighter than the color of the dough, so you might go a little darker than you think you need).
Step 5: Make alternating balls of dough on your work space. Once all the dough is out. Gently knead the balls together to mix the color. DO NOT OVER KNEAD! T definitely over kneaded and got more pink than swirl cookies.
Step 6: Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. On your workspace roll out the dough to your desired thickness (1/4″ typically works the best). Cut out your shapes and place them on the tray.
Step 7: Bake for 6-8 minutes and enjoy!!! (M says how do you know if it’s 6 or 8 minutes? Well, that’s really hard to say because everyone’s oven cooks slightly differently. You can usually tell by the smell. But the cookie itself should looked cooked and not gooey. If you give the pan a little shake nothing should jiggle. T doesn’t like to wait for the edges to brown because it can detract from the cookie if you aren’t icing it. She advises you start checking at 6 minutes and take out when the cookies appear cooked through and are no longer shiny from the moisture in the batter.)
This was a great, super easy, recipe that produces absolutely stunning cookies. You don’t need to add anything to it but you could sprinkle with sugar crystals to give them a little oomph.
P.S. did you know that if you store cookies with a piece of bread they stay fresher longer? Who knew!
P.P.S. You can even ADD bread to the cookie container once the cookies have gone a little hard and it will soften them right up. Amazing!