3.2.11

Valentine Cookies

Several times a year I get busy baking the prettiest cookies I can dream up. They are reserved for special occasions -- Valentines Day, birthdays & Fathers Day. My husband appreciates these cookies so much I joke that my sugar cookies are the main reason he loves me so.

For this batch of cookies I called in my favorite & best assistant. He was so taken with the elegant Crusader graphic on the sack of King Arthur flour, he insisted I feature a photo of it on my blog post. (The flour sack also inspired a post-supper reading from the book Arthur of Albion by John Matthews... tales of the Round Table and the Grail quest perfectly adapted to entice and enchant a 7 year old boy...)

First we whisked together:
3 ¼ cups all-purpose unbleached, white flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
And in a separate bowl, beat together until fluffy & well blended:
20 TBLSP. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
Then we added and beat until well combined:
1 large egg
2 ½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. finely grated lemon zest (optional)
We divided the dough in half, placed each half between 2 large sheets of wax paper and pressed each half into ½ inch thick discs.

With our rolling pin, we rolled out the dough ¼ inch thick and refrigerated it for approx. 25 minutes.

We cut out cookies leaving half of them plain. In the other half, we cut out "windows" in the centers and transferred the cut-out cookies onto prepared cookie sheets.

There are those of us who prefer sprinkles on our cookies, and so, accordingly, we sprinkled... Then we baked the cookies at 375 degrees for 9 minutes and cooled them on racks.

Next, I decided I felt too lazy to rummage for my double-boiler, so I improvised... We gently heated, until smooth, half a jar of red current jelly (seedless raspberry jam also works well, as does lemon curd, but my favorite is quince jam!)

I spooned a scant tsp. onto the bottoms of the "plain" cookies...

And made pretty sandwiches...




COOKIE RECIPE
Whisk together:
3 ¼ cups all-purpose unbleached, white flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
In a separate bowl, beat together until fluffy & well blended:
20 TBLSP. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
Add and beat until well combined:
1 large egg
2 ½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. finely grated lemon zest (optional)
Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended and smooth. Divide dough in half. Place each half between 2 large sheets of wax paper. Press each half into ½ inch thick discs. With rolling pin, roll out dough ¼ inch thick. Refrigerate until cold and slightly firm, approx. 20-30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or cover with parchment paper. Working with 1 portion at a time (leave the other portion in the refrigerator) peel away and replace top sheet of the wax paper (this will make it easier to lift cookies from the paper after they’ve been cut out.) Carefully flip over the rolled out dough and peel off (& discard) the second sheet of wax paper. Cut out cookies with 2-or 3-inch cutters. For jam sandwich cookies, leave half your cookies plain and, in half of them, cut out "windows" in the centers. Transfer cut-out cookies onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Roll dough scraps, refrigerate and continue cutting out cookies until all dough is used.
Bake approx. 9 minutes, one pan at a time, until edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool completely on racks.
In a double boiler, gently heat until all lumps are dissolved, half a jar of seedless raspberry or red current jelly, lemon curd, or my favorite... quince jam. Spoon a scant tsp. onto the underside of a "plain" cookie and then place a cookie with a "window" on top of the jam.


6 comments:

  1. If I close my eyes I can almost smell the batch that's in the oven...and the ones sitting on the cooling rack waiting to be savoured. Mmmmmmm...
    thanks for sharing the recipe and how-to! xox

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  2. Come on over after supper and I'll serve you some with tea!

    xo
    MB

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  3. Oh they are so beautiful... I wonder if mine would look so pretty. Must first find a little scalloped cutter. Thank you.

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  4. The trick to these is rolling them between the wax paper and refrigerating the rolled out dough. When you cut out the cookies you get nice, crisp edges. Also, a few months ago I found a rolling pin which has wooden rings on the ends which raise the pin 1/4 inch above the dough, so I get a perfect 1/4 inch roll-out... I made these cookies for many years without this fancy rolling pin, and I have to say, it's so much easier now (especially since my kitchen elf did half the work!!!)

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  5. P.S. Shannon -- These also look really pretty using a round scalloped cutter...

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  6. I loved these cookies. I have booked marked for valentines. Did you know tomorrow is valentines day in my home country? Ohh I'm really entice to make them Tomorow x

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