Feb 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day!! While I do like Valentine's Day, it's nice to have a special day to show your special someone how much you care, it's definitely not my favorite holiday. Give me Christmas or Easter over Valentine's Day any year. With that being said, any excuse to bake is okay by me, so if it has to be a holiday, then I am all for it. :)

I saw the recipe for these vanilla bean & lemon sugar cookies on Annie's blog awhile back and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make them. Thank you, Valentine's Day, for that opportunity. I also have been wanting to try my hand with royal icing again. I've tried before, but without stellar results. These results are not stellar but they are better than I have done before and I had a lot of fun experimenting.

Annie did a great tutorial on marbling royal icing. It really does give it such a pretty effect. I will definitely be trying these again. Even for a beginner, it was pretty easy and garnered good results!

Let's see what is coming up: James's birthday, my birthday, Jack's birthday, 4th of July...I have lots of time to practice.

Vanilla Bean & Lemon Sugar Cookies
cookies and technique from Annie's Eats

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 large egg
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
zest of half a lemon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and confectioners' sugar on medium-high until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
2. Bean in the egg, vanilla extras, seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and lemon zest until well blended.
3. With the mixer on low, slowly add in flour and salt and mix just until incorporated.
4. Form the dough into a disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1-2 hours. Or store wrapped in plastic wrap and freezer safe zip-top bag in the freezer until ready to use.
5. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. On a well floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use desired cookie cutters dipped in flour to cut dough. Transfer dough to prepared sheets and bake 8-10 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until fully baked but not browned.
7. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost or decorate as desired.

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