Buttery Valentine's Day Cookies
Valentine’s Day this year is going to be different – homemade. In the spirit of it I’m starting today with freshly baked butter and sugar cookies. I did the baking work and kids finished them with decoration. This way all of us are involved and feeling the love vibe.
So why is this year different, you might ask? I think we all can agree that going for a romantic dinner to a restaurant is not that much fun during COVID – crowds of possibly sick people, limited seating, and faces covered in masks simply spoil the mood. This is why I decided to stay home and create memories that won’t involve masks.
Our kids definitely have nothing against this change, because they won’t be left behind and will get to make and then eat cookies. I am not one of these moms who spend hours in the kitchen baking and cooking with kids every week, but this special year calls not only for Christmas, but Valentine’s cookies as well.
I picked a very simple and time tested recipe, because our special focus is on decorating with melted chocolate and sprinkles and not on baking. Furthermore, I didn’t feel like shopping for this at all, so Instacart deserves some serious shout out for lending me a helping hand there. I ordered butter and flour last night and this morning my Instacart shopper had everything delivered to my door by 11am, so that I could get my baking on.
Let’s take a look at these tiny buttery beauties:
- ½ cup of white or organic raw sugar
- 2 sticks or 200g of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract
- 1 organic egg yolk
- A pinch of Himalayan salt
- 2 ¼ cups of flour of choice
- 1 cup of organic dark chocolate chips for melting
- 1 cup of organic while chocolate chips for melting
The first step is to make sure that butter is softened. Mine wasn’t, so I had it softened in the microwave for 1 minute. Then combine sugar and butter in a bowl and mix using stand-alone mixer or hand held mixer. My stand alone doesn’t work that well anymore, so I a used hand held one. The original recipe calls for ¾ cups of sugar, which I reduced to ½, but even then the cookies are a bit too sweet for me, so be careful with sugar. Less is more here.
Mix sugar and butter until smooth and well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl from time to time to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed together.
For scraping I use my rubber spatula, personalized with my name from Personalization Mall, because such tools make me feel more special when I cook or bake.
Then add vanilla extract and salt and continue mixing on high speed.
After those two ingredients are mixed in, add the egg yolk.
I use heritage breed organic eggs, so my yolk is very dark orange, which makes cookies a bit darker.
The final ingredient to be added slowly is flour. Reduce your mixer speed to medium and keep adding flour slowly. Don’t become alarmed as your dough becomes dry and made entirely of little crumbs – that’s totally normal. Mix for as long as you feel needed and then pour the dough crumbs on a clean surface. I used my cutting board from Personalization Mall, because it is clean and sturdy, and yes, because of the entire personalized and feeling special thing.
The dough has lots of butter, so once you spread out the crumbles, you can then easily make a ball with your hands.
The ball needs to be flattened a little, to about 1” thickness, wrapped in the plastic wrap and chilled in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly flour the surface where you will be rolling out the cookies. Get the rolling pin and heart shape ready. Take the dough from the fridge and divide it in two parts.
Rolling is not easy because the dough is not elastic, so don’t rush. Roll the first half of the dough into about ¼” flat pancake and cut out as many hearts as you can.
Carefully transfer the fragile hearts onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Continue this rolling and cutting until both halves of the dough and scraps are used up.
Cookies bake for 10-12 minutes and should be cooled completely before decorating, so take a little break after finishing.
Later, melt white and dark chocolate in separate bowls over a pot with boiling water and get the kids ready to decorate.
I get them ready by washing their hands and putting their Personalization Mall made aprons.
Cookies are fragile, so carefully dip them in chocolate of choice or combination of both, then place the cookies on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle them with sprinkles right away.
Then wipe down the entire kitchen and vacuum the sprinkles or get the dog to do that!
The cookies are especially good with milk and I am afraid mine will be gone long before Valentine’s Day. Enjoy and bake more if need be!