Pretty in Pink Cookies
Happy Healthy Holidays!
This recipe makes a lot of cookies, but you can halve it if you do not need so many, freeze a portion of the dough for up to three weeks or freeze some of the cookies!
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4-2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pale pink sanding sugar (optional)
Petal dust in pink, orange, and violet tones (optional)
2/3 cup strawberry jam, (or apricot jam) slightly warmed (optional)
In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture to mixer bowl, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Wrap dough in plastic; chill until firm, one hour or overnight.
To color white sanding sugar, if using: Place a few tablespoons in a small bowl. Mix in petal dust with a toothpick, a bit at a time, until desired shade is reached. Colored sanding sugar will last indefinitely.
Heat oven with two racks centered to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out hearts using any 1- to 3 1/2-inch heart cookie cutters. If desired, cut centers out of some hearts. Transfer with spatula to baking sheets. Chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using. Bake until just golden but not too brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack. Continue with dough; reroll scraps.
To make sandwich hearts: Brush bottom heart lightly with jam; cover with a second heart with center cut out; jam will adhere hearts. Fill cut-out area with more jam. Cookies will keep, in an airtight container, at room temperature for one week.
Recipe makes 22 dozen, 1-1/2-inch cookies.
Royal Icing for Valentine Sandwich Cookies
1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
One large egg white (You can substitute 2-1/2-tablespoons powdered egg whites if desired)
Paste or gel food coloring in pink tones
Combine sugar, egg white, and 1 tablespoon water in electric mixer until smooth. Add 1 to 3 more teaspoons water if too thick. Stir in coloring. Transfer icing to pastry bag fitted with 1/16-inch tip; reserve. Recipe makes 1-1/4 cups frosting.