When it comes to Valentine’s Day, people usually fall into one of two categories.
There are those who LOVE Cupid’s holiday and get all romantical with cards, flowers, chocolates, dinner reservations, jewelry, and the like…
… and then there are those who pooh-pooh the Hallmark holiday and just see it as another day to get through.
I fall into the latter category. I am not a Valentine’s Day fan. No mushy stuff for me, thanks.
I do, however, like Valentine’s cookies… especially when I have an — ahem — assistant in the kitchen.
These cookies are REALLY easy, as you definitely have the ingredients on hand, and your — ahem — assistants will enjoy decorating them for you. I’ve included a recipe for icing below, although you could also use store-bought frosting if that makes it easier for you and your — ahem — assistants. (But note that store-bought frosting will not dry hard the way the recipe below does.)
Thanks to my Mama for the cookie recipe and to my friend Rebecca (who is expecting an “assistant” of her own) for the icing recipe.
SHORTBREAD COOKIES (pdf)
3/4 C butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/4 C sugar
2 C flour
Preheat oven to 350. Combine ingredients with your fingers until you can form the crumbly dough into a ball.*
Using a floured rolling pin, roll out onto a floured surface and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle generously with sanding sugar **OR** bake plain (no melted butter) and frost with icing recipe below.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around the bottom edges (the tops will still be pretty light).
The number of cookies depends on the size of your cookie cutters and how thin you roll out your dough. I rolled mine to about 1/4 inch thick and made 20 medium-size cookies.
*Don’t lose your courage! The dough is very crumbly — that is the nature of shortbread. The oil from your hands will help the dough adhere — that’s why I recommend using your fingers to mix instead of a fork or pastry cutter — and the rolling pin is key. It WILL adhere. Keep at it. Use the scraps to form another ball of dough and to roll out again for more cut-outs.
1 C powdered sugar, measured then sifted
2 t milk
2 t light corn syrup
1/4 t vanilla or almond extract
Food coloring as desired
Mix powdered sugar and milk until blended. Add corn syrup, extract, and food coloring until shiny and smooth. Dip cookies into frosting and then spread evenly with a spreading knife. The icing will dry hard (but give it some time).
You may want to double or triple this recipe. I doubled mine for the above cookie recipe. I frosted 12 of the cookies and had some icing left over — not that extra icing has ever been a problem. 😉
Decorate with colored sugar, sprinkles, red hots, whatever!