Heart Butter Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Butter Cut-Out Cookies by Nigella Lawson - 'How to be a domestic goddess'
- 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
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving toward moussiness, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, mix gently but surely. 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.
3. Halve the dough, form into flat discs, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Bake for 8–12 minutes, by which time they will be lightly golden around the edges. Cool on a rack and continue with the rest of the dough. When they’re all fully cooled, you can get on with the icing. Put a couple of tablespoons of just-not-boiling water into a large bowl, add the sieved icing sugar and mix together, adding more water as you need to form a thick paste. Colour as desired: let the artistic spirit within you speak, remembering with gratitude that children have very bad taste.
In a medium bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until creamy and no lumps remain, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 20 seconds then increase to high speed until everything is completely combined and the frosting is creamy. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. Spread on each cooled cookie, then decorate with sprinkles.