Conversation Heart Cookies
Happy Healthy Holidays!
Express your true feelings to your sweetheart on a batch of these colorful Conversation Heart Cookies. But eat in moderation as these are not "diet"!
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cans (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting
Assorted pastel-colored food coloring
Red food coloring
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium, beat sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 baking sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll each disk to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 4-inch heart cookie cutter, cut out shapes; place shapes on prepared baking sheets.
Bake cookies until the edges just start to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool completely.
Remove 1/3 cup frosting; set aside. Divide the remaining frosting among several microwave-safe bowls. Microwave each for 30 to 45 seconds until frosting is thin. Tint each bowl of heated frosting with pastel food coloring.
Set cookies on wire racks over waxed paper. Spoon tinted frostings over cookies to cover tops and edges completely. Allow frosting to set completely, about 1 hour.
Tint reserved frosting red. Place red frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a small writing tip. Pipe a message on top of each cookie.
Recipe makes about 4 dozen Conversation Heart Cookies.
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The Roman Feast of Lupercalia was an ancient pagan fertility celebration, which honored Juno, queen of the Roman gods and goddesses and goddess of women and marriage, was held on Feb. 14th, the day before the feast began. During festival time, women would write love letters, also known as billets, and leave them in a large urn. The men of Rome would then draw a note from the urn and ardently pursue the woman who wrote the message they had chosen.