Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie Recipe

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we will all be looking for cute treats to send our kids to school with.  I made my famous sugar cookies for Christmas this year, and as always they traveled well for hundreds of miles.  Meaning, they can be stacked and transported by your young ones to school without the fear that they will look mangled upon arrival.  The icing dries shiny (and firm), so stacking them is not a problem.  Below is a snapshot of my Christmas version, but hearts with pink, white, and red icing are obviously your go-to choice for Valentine’s Day.  Enjoy!

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Update: This afternoon I made a batch of Valentine’s Day sugar cookies for my girls.  Any variation of heart-shaped cookies with white, pink or red icing would work, as would round cookies with colored icing and sprinkles.

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Sugar Cookie Recipe (Williams-Sonoma)

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

TO PREPARE:  Over a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the remaining flour and continue beating until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls. Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut out the desired shapes. If the dough sticks to the cutter, dip the cutter into flour before cutting out more shapes. Using a small offset spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart.

Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges, 10-12 minutes. If baking more than one sheet at a time, rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and 180 degrees halfway through baking.

Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 20 cookies.

Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons milk

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

TO PREPARE:  In a small bowl stir together powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Stir in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy.  If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.  Add food coloring if desired.

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