1.27.2010

Valentine Cut Out Cookies!



Are you in charge of your kids' Valentine Party at school this year? Do you just want to make a special treat for the ones you love? Here is your chance! This is a great cookie recipe. It is chewy and strong enough to decorate without breaking.

Rolled Butter Cookies

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
parchment paper

Either by hand or with electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed. Add yolk, beat well, then add whole egg and vanilla; continue beating until well incorporated. Add flour; beat at low speed until flour is just mixed in. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (Can be refrigerated up to 2 days or double wrapped and frozen 1 month)

Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375°. Remove one disk of dough from refrigerator and cut in half. Return unused portion of dough to refrigerator.

Lightly flour work surface; roll dough to 1/8 inch thick, using thin metal spatula to loosen dough. Sprinkle surface and rolling pin lightly with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.

Cut or form dough into desired shape. Place dough shapes 1/2 inch apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake, reversing cookie sheets (from top to bottom and back to front) halfway through baking time, until evenly golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Use thin-bladed spatula to immediately transfer cookies to cooling rack. Cool to room temperature. Repeat rolling, cutting and baking remaining dough. Decorate cooled cookies with royal icing, if desired and transfer to an airtight container. (Cook's Illustrated)


**tips**

As always, begin with room temperature ingredients

When mixing the dough, mix until just combined with the flour. Over mixing will result in tough cookie. There are scientific "gluten" reasons I can't recall right now, just trust me.

If you think the dough is too sticky, never add additional flour , just throw it in the fridge to stiffen up before rolling.

The best way to avoid "blobby" cookies that don't retain their shape, is to cut out the shapes, then pop them into the freezer for about 10 minutes before baking. You could add additional flour to achieve the same result, but you will be sacrificing flavor and texture.

Time to decorate, my favorite part!

I like to mix up my confectioner's sugar icing (you know, sugar, vanilla, and milk) to a thick consistency and put a few spoonfuls into a Ziploc baggie. You can then pipe an outline of the shape onto the cookie to correct any "blobbiness" that occurred during baking. It also provides a guide when you add the colored icing.



Using the remainder of the icing, thin it a bit and add coloring. Use this to fill in your outline. You can use a toothpick to help fill in the edges. Sometimes, I fill another baggie with colored icing and pipe it inside. The kids really like this part.



Thin down the remaining icing in the baggie, and pipe a squiggle or a rough shape. Here we were decorating hearts, so I piped a loose heart on top to finish the cookie. If you do this when the icing is not yet set, they two will melt into each other for a cool effect.




17 comments :

  1. These look delicious and pretty. A little helpful hint...if you make a simple royal icing (not any harder to make than yours) the icing will get firm enough to stack without ruining all your hard decorating work. Well done ;-)

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  2. I've been trying to think of a cute/easy project for Jack's class for V-day! I'll try this one (but you've seen my decorating skills with the caramel apples!)

    PS: Mike "The Situation" was in my town Saturday night! I would have gone to stalk him, but it was 11:30 and I was down for the count! LOL

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  3. Yum! I've been trying to figure out what to make the kids for breakfast...now all I want is a sugar cookie ;) Great tip to pipe the outline first!

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  4. I was thinking of doing this for my youngest DD's class for V-day. The only problem is I'll have to make extra for us too ;o)

    BTW your cookies look YUMMY!

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  5. Those are so cute! And they look tasty! I tried to make cute Christmas ones like these with my stepson....it was a disaster! I will probably never bake again. HA!

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  6. But then I'll want to eat them all and THAT is not a good idea.

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  7. your cookies are beautiful and look delicious! i think i'll try your recipe!

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  8. Just made some of these yesterday - they look gorgeous!

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  9. i love how they turned out. my belly is growling for a cookie!!

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  10. These look SO good! Much better than the Beef Stew I posted on MY site! haha

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  11. I got it covered!!! Already marked my calendar for the day I want to make them so they are ready to send out to Vail with the kids when they head out on Feb. 11th...and thanks again for the frosting recipe....it was terrific when I made it for my christmas cookies. Yum

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  12. Excelent

    saludos desde buenos aires argentina para todos los lectores

    alejandra

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  13. Dammit, those look good. Can you ship some to Cleveland? LOL.

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  14. Never even baked cut outs at Christmas with the kids. Shame on me. Will have to do it soon. Lovely. Holly

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  15. What a cute valentine idea. Who wouldn't love the gift of baked goods for Valentine's Day? However, it might be difficult not to eat all of them before I have the chance.

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  16. So cute! Sam and I may make these when we get back from WDW!

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  17. I just made these cookies tonight! YUM!!! I'm going to have to whip up another batch to frost cause the boys keep sneaking the ones cooling on the rack ;)

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