I apologize that I embargoed my Wednesday post until Thursday. But holidays trump blog schedules and I highly doubt any of you were waiting at your computers for that recipe to come through.
(Sigh) Maybe someday?
Plus, our last baby season baby was born this week. Hooray! I shared Ella’s shower in the baby season post in case you want to check it out. She’s beautiful, healthy and came just in time for Valentine’s Day!
If you didn’t already assume by this whole blogging thing, I’m a communicator. I like to talk. Let’s get serious, silence makes me uncomfortable. I believe in the power of the
spoken written word.
And because I like to engage in social conversation, every year leading up to Valentine’s Day I
bribe my co-workers fill my candy jar with a supply of Sweet Tart Hearts with the hope that sweets will lead to a friendly hello, a restaurant suggestion or even just a brief life-update. And I make sure they are the Sweet Tart versions because I think we all know those chalky ones won’t do the job.
My candy dish is out of sight this year and after low traffic in the first week, I decided to move it into the open space to let go of the inventory. So for the remainder of the holiday lead-up, I was left to merely yell hello across the wall as I heard the ting of the lid each time someone dug in. And you’re kidding yourself if you think that ‘someone’ would announce who they were. Pshh. They were off just as soon as that powdery sugar substance hit their veins.
One thing I did learn is that people love them some sweet tart hearts. So while contemplating ideas for what kind of treat to bring in the office on Valentine’s Day, I decided to stick with the theme and whip up a batch of conversation heart sugar cookies.
Can I have a moment for a brief aside on what I am calling the ‘flash’ flood of February holidays this year? (there’s a bead reference there in case you missed it) Anyone else think it’s kind of cuckoo that Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day are happening in the same week? Talk about holiday treat idea overload!
So back to those cookies. You may have seen a sneak peek of these cookies in my earlier post about finding balance. Well after gearing up to make these cookies late Sunday night in time for Valentine’s Week, I decided take my own advice and postpone the decorating until the actual day. Fortunately both the cookie recipe and royal icing keep very well for up to a week.
I tried a new recipe this time around and while the jury is still out for taste, they seemed to cook to the proper consistency and shape I wanted. Typically I do a yogurt or sour cream and traditional sugar dough but the powdered sugar in these makes them puff up nicely.
1 C butter
1 C powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
2 ½ C sifted flour
Cream butter in mixer on medium speed. Add powdered sugar. Mix in egg, almond and vanilla.
In a separate bowl whisk dry ingredients together. Slowly add dry ingredients into wet. Place dough into plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Flour rollpat or counter top
Roll dough to desired thickness. Cut out cookies with floured cookie cutter and place on baking mat.
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will not turn golden but should move from the pan when touched. Cool for 2 minutes on pan and then transfer to cookie rack.
Want to try the original? Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats.
2 C powdered sugar, sifted
1 TBL meringue powder
3 TBL water (add more to get desired consistency)
While dough is chilling, combine powdered sugar and meringue in a stand mixer. Add water. Mix on low for 1-2 minutes. Then increase speed to 3 or 4 until stiff peaks appear on paddle. (up to 10 minutes)
Divide into bowls and add gel coloring (gel works better as food coloring is water-based and can thin out icing). Add water and stir until icing pours smoothly but isn’t runny. This is the best icing for outlining (piping). Pipe outlines around hearts and let stand until dry. Add more water to icing to create fill and then ice as if you are coloring in a picture.