It seems that whenever I step into a specialty store around holiday time, I’m always too stubborn to buy their handmade cookies. For example, William-Sonoma has amazingly cute Valentine’s Day cookies. But whether it’s pride or the fact that I’m nearly broke, I can’t bring myself to drop $25 on them. Or anything else that will disappear in a day when left on my counter.
So, I try myself each year to make cookies that are worthy of looking…well…better than a child made them. Don’t get me wrong. I love to bake. But I’m not exactly the most patient person. Cookie decorating at my house usually consists of big spoons in bowls of icing that are too small, a cluttered counter full of who knows what, and sprinkles all over–and I mean all over–the floor. It’s like walking on the beach some days there’s so many grains of sugar down there. But, I continue to try despite my hurried, clumsy efforts.
This year I changed my game plan and purchased a couple of decorating pens. like a smart person. They’re $3 tubes filled with chocolate that hardens almost immediately when squeezed onto the decorated surface. They make designing beautiful cookies stress-free. And easy! Though you may not believe that, given that my cursive looks like a first grader’s.
After piping borders around each cookie I used a homemade icing in the center. The icing is thin, so it fills right in. You can’t go wrong with this unless you’re blindfolded.
Butter cookies are also firm and stay fresh for a while, which makes them a great candidate to be shipped off to loved ones. Below the recipe I will share my fool-proof way of shipping cookies so that they stay fresh and don’t crumble.
Happy day of love, ya’ll!
(Yields 18 medium cookies)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2. tsp. baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar together. Mix in egg and vanilla, then add baking powder. Add flour, one cup at a time, until dough is very stiff (I used about 2 and a half). Chill approximately 20 min.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roll out dough onto floured surface to 1/4″ thickness (I like using dough bands). Cut out shapes and bake 6-7 minutes. Baked cookies will look white and undercooked, and should only be slightly golden around the edges. Cool on cooling racks before decorating.
1. Make short stacks in small plastic zip-lock bags.
2. Place the stacks in a plastic coffee can so that there is not much room left in the can.
3. Add newspaper to the top of the can.
4. Place can(s) in a cardboard box. Snuggly fit them using bubble wrap or balled newspaper so they don’t wiggle around. And voila! Perfect cookies.
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