Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine's Day Cookies

I do not own many cookie cutters, as I think they are too expensive ($1,99 for one cookie cutter?!). So the very few I do own, are really inexpensive (10 cookie cutters for 2 euros) and are themed to a particular Holiday. This leads me to only make cookies during Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day and perhaps Spring. Which is a shame because Nigella Lawson's 'Butter Cut-Out Cookies' recipe is so good, I prefer these cookies over store-bought sugar cookies any day. But then again, at least I don't have to worry about my waist line because I can't control myself whenever I make these.

Butter Cut-Out Cookies
recipe: Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a domestic goddess' adapted from 'The Family Baker'.


It's hard to say how much this recipe will make. It all depends on how big your cookie cutters are. According to Nigella, this will make 50 - 60 cookies.

Ingredients: (I always halve this recipe and still have too much)
- 3/4 cup soft unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 2/3 cups cake flour, plus more if needed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- cookie cutters
- 2 baking sheets, greased or lined with parchment or wax paper (whenever I bake cookies I use wax paper, because some cookies will get an ugly hard edge if you grease the sheet)

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 (it really has no purpose doing this now because the cookie dough will need to lay at least 1 hour in the fridge).
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving toward moussiness, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.
3. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, mix gently but surely (I suggest using a dough hook attachement on your mixer). If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough.
4. Halve the dough, form into flat discs, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
(when the hour has passed and I'm ready to use the dough, I start preheating the oven)
5. Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place a disc of dough on it, not taking out the other half until you've finished with the first, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that.
6. Roll it out to a thickness of about ¼ inch (0.6 cm). Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on the baking sheet (they really don't grow much in the oven).

Sugar Cookie Icing recipe: AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:
- 1 cup confectionars' sugar
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (I omit this if I want to make white icing)
- 3 tablespoons milk (use more if needed)
- Food coloring

Instructions: In a small bowl, beat together confectionars's sugar, light corn syrup and vanilla. Add a tablespoon of milk one at a time, until icing is smooth and glossy.

I could have gotten more cookies out of the dough but the more you make, the more you eat.

Icing them on wax paper (yeah I ate that last cookie).



The end result. Don't they look pretty?


Update: Yeah! I won the daily poll at AllRecipes.com. My cookies came in third!

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