Valentine's Day - this is one of those holidays that I just don't really LOVE. I mean it puts so much pressure on people - do you have a date? are you in love? did you get flowers? were they red roses (that cost way too much this week)? are you going to spend way too much $ on some dumb dinner out? I'm sorry, but it's just too much! My friend John used to say "Valentines is for Rookies" and I agree. We NEVER go out for dinner on 2/14 - prices are jacked up first of all, but most importantly for me is that cooking a meal for someone is how I show my love. Yes, those of you that I've cooked for can officially know it - I LOVE YOU!
Years ago -in a land far, far away -The City - we used to do Valentine's with 2 other couples in our neighborhood - it was a great group - us and 2 women and 2 men couples - what could be more perfect - we all loved each other and it didn't matter what sex was with whom (I'm not even going to get on that soap box but to say - get over it people! - love is LOVE!) Anywho. For the first of those dinners I decided to make these heart cookies to put on everyone's plate so yesterday I realized I hadn't made them in years and I was like - what on earth do I have those silly cookie cutters for if I'm not going to use them on Valentine's day! So since my xmas notebook was put up for the year I looked in my Martha Stewart Cookie book and tried her cutout cookies. Well, they are OK, but next time I'm going with my book - and here's the recipe for you. XOXOXO - bake some for someone you love - whoever they are!
Iced Cutout Cookies makes about a dozen large
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy then add egg and vanilla and mix. Whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl and then add to bowl and mix. Remove and press together into a disk and refrigerate an hour or overnight wrapped in plastic. Flour your work surface and roll it out into about 1/4 inch thickness, then use cookie cutters to cut them out, then re-roll and finish it off. Lay on baking sheets (silpat works great!) with a little space in between and either sprinkle with decorations or bake plain if you are icing. Bake 350 degrees for 8-12 min - very lightly browned. Let cool completely then ice.
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
couple tablespoons hot water
paste dye or liquid food coloring
mix together to form a paste - not too thick, but not too runny either. I use the paste dye and you could split the icing and have 2 colors if you like. I kept it simple today and just did purple. Let dry completely.
Post Note: I wish I had a picture of the first time Jen and I did our cut out cookies using the paste dye! We had never used it before and didn't realize you had to mix it into the icing - Jen just thought you could use a little on a toothpick. Well. We were making SnowMen - and first off we used some organic powdered sugar for the icing as we wanted it to be white - well it was slightly grey - so if you want white icing skip the organic stuff. Next Jen dotted 2 eyes with black dye, and with the red color drew on a thin line for a scarf around his neck. Next thing we knew the colors were bleeding out. So picture this - big black spots for eyes and a red slash across the neck. They looked like our snowmen had been murdered! Luckily I have a few clients with a sense of humor!
with love, Rebecca