There is something about a soft, decadent sugar cookie that makes the heart pound. When that cookie is topped with dreamy pink icing and lacy piping details, you have yourself a winning combo that’s sure to win the heart of your valentine! 😀 Did I mention that these cookies stay soft for weeks, and the icing dries hard so that you can stack them in adorable little gift packages? #Ohmygoodnesssomebodystopmebeforeieatthewholebatch! haha.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Soft Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies
(Cookie recipe adapted from Sweet Sugarbelle— designs and decorating tutorial are my own)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter or margarine, room temperature
2 tsp. extract of your choice (I tend to use vanilla)
1 egg (room temperature)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3(ish) cups flour
Royal icing, for decorating (the recipe I use here)
Cream powdered sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add extract and egg; beat well. Sprinkle baking powder and salt over mixture; mix well. Add flour, a little at a time, until it forms a stiff dough that does not stick to your fingers. Place on a floured surface and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes and “peel” dough scraps (more on this here). Bake at 375 for roughly 15 minutes until set and bottoms of cookies are lightly golden. Allow to cool on a baking rack before decorating with royal icing (more on how to make this here).
Now, in pictures! ?
We have made sugar cookies many times on this ‘ole blog which is actually NAMED after fancy sugar cookies, so this should be old hat to you guys. But in case you’re new here and you need a brush up tutorial on the actual sugar cookie making process, no worries– I’ve got you a nice, step by step sugar cookie tutorial here. 🙂 Check that out if you need a little extra help and then come on back here so I can show you how to make these little Valentine cuties. 😀
Since this is basically a decorating tutorial, you can also use another sugar cookie recipe, if you prefer, and then just follow the decorating steps. I am using royal icing to decorate, and you can find out more about how to make royal icing here if you’ve never made it before.
The great thing about royal icing is that it dries hard, which means you can stack these pretty little cookies or put them in cute gift bags, when you’re done, without the designs running! I think you just became the coolest Mom in your kids’ kindergarten class. 😉
Start out by outlining your hearts in 17 second pink icing. The point of outlining the cookies is to kind of make a “dam” to hold the flooding icing from slipping all over the sides of the cookie before it has a chance to dry. I like to outline all my cookies and then go back to flood the beginning ones. This gives the first outlines a chance to dry so that they are ready when I come back to flood them. When your outlines are finished, flood the cookies with the same icing, using a toothpick to fill in any gaps and to pop any air bubbles that surface in the smooth icing surface before it dries. If you’re new to royal icing, and you are thinking that flooding is just for people named Noah who live on an ark, then check out the royal icing tutorial here. 😉
Once you have flooded your cookies with pink (or white, if you prefer) icing, let the cookies rest, uncovered, for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight, if possible. Sometimes sugar cookies look deceptively dry because they get a dry “skin” on top of the icing, but kind of like the thin ice on a lake, the shell will crack if you put too much pressure on it before it’s completely dry.
Once your cookies are completely dry, use 17 second white icing and a small decorating tip (I am using the size 2 tip here) to add some fleur-de-lis type embelishments. You can do groups of 3-4 dots, as well, to mix the pattern up a little bit. I find that I do my best thinking while piping– there is something so soothing and relaxing about watching the curls and curves appearing and flowing in front of your piping bag. So think deep thoughts . . . and let your imagination roam as you create.
You don’t have to do all patterns, either– you can pipe words like “love” or your Valentine’s name on the hearts, too, and just embellish with dots or swirls. You can’t go wrong here– just let the icing flow and have fun. Once you finish piping all your details on the cookies, allow them to rest, uncovered, overnight. It’s important to let the cookies rest overnight this time so that they are completely dry when you’re ready to stack them.
And then, once the cookies are dry, the fun begins . . . packaging.
Oh– you thought I was going to say EAT??? Well . . . you can have one cookie to munch as you work if you like. I won’t tell. 😉
I packaged these little beauties in individual 5×7 clear cello bags (cheapest I found were these, here— they are roughly 100 bags for 5 bucks. That means you can package pretty cookies for a LONG time. ;). Tie with a Valentine’s ribbon and make a stack of pretties for your friends and neighbors. I am making these for my kids’ teachers– trust me– as a former teacher, I know that teachers definitely deserve a little something sweet at holidays for the hard work that they do.
Make little packets of sweet cookies for everyone . . . the teachers, the office staff, your coworkers . . .
It’s amazing how a sweet little cookie can bring a smile to the most dreary day.
I’m running out of things to say before I run out of pretty pictures. Hmm. Share the love? That seems to be a fitting caption for this photo. *stalling . . . *
And whewwwww we are at the last one. haha. And here is the glamour shot of my pretty vintage Pyrex, which looked so pretty and pink. Ahhh . . . the loves of my life– cookies and Pyrex. 😀
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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