Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sugar cookies - Heart shaped for Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, Anjalie & I baked some Heart shaped sugar cookies today to share with friends and family as a token of our appreciation and love for them. We talked about how Valentine's Day is a special day to show our family and friends that we are thankful for having them in our lives. As always it is loads of fun to bake cookies with the little ones as it adds to quality time with them at the same time leads to home-made treats that can be enjoyed together afterwards.

I chose sugar cookies since Anjalie enjoys rolling out and cutting various shapes and for me the dough making is quite easy to put together. This time we even made our own pink sugar to sprinkle on our cookies, mainly, because it was late last night when I realized that we did not have any colored sugar and it was too late to go shopping. Instead I decided to use food coloring to make our "pink sugar" from ordinary granulated sugar.
For the pink sugar, you will need:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
ziplock/zipseal bag
food coloring (10-20 drops)

Add the sugar into the ziplock bag and at first add 10 drops of the desired food coloring. Remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it closed. Mix around the sugar and coloring by shaking the ziplock bag. Rub the dark spots of food coloring using finger tips (as shown in the above pic) to evenly coat and color the sugar. If needed add the next 10 drops and repeat. If you still need to darken the sugar color, wait a few hours for the sugar to dry fully before repeating the process. Here is the result from our "test" with 20 drops of pink food coloring and 1/4 cup sugar. We were quite happy with the result and left it to dry overnight to use on our sugar cookies the next day. Kids love to "help" with these and can be fun for them to try different combinations of colors as well. I try to get Anjalie to learn that mixing yellow and blue will give green etc using these fun sugar activities :)

Next for the cookie dough you will need:
3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) caster sugar (or pulse normal sugar in the food processor for 30 seconds)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract/strawberry flavor

Personally, Anjalie & I chose strawberry flavor since we are tired of vanilla in everything! Beat butter in the processor/mixer for a minute until fluffy and smooth. Add sugar and beat them together for 2 more mins. Add the eggs one at a time until well blended. Add the vanilla/strawberry flavor and blend well for another min. Sift all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and add them little bit at a time into the food processor until you get a soft well mixed dough. It will be very sticky. Divide it into two sections and wrap them up in a cling film and leave them in the fridge over night or at least for 2-3 hrs. You can also leave them in the freezer for an hr. Cutting shapes will take time and if working with entire dough might lead to part of the dough getting back sticky, making it harder to work with. Dividing the dough into two means that one portion remains stiff while you work with the other part relatively quickly. Thus making life easier for us :)

When ready, to work with the dough leave the dough to sit for 15 mins and then roll them out one part at a time (leaving the other one in the fridge still) on an area dusted with icing sugar (if using flour use sparingly) to a thickness of approximately 2 cms (1 inch). Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters. We used heart shape for Valentine's day. Here is Anjalie doing her favorite bit.

Line the cut cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment
paper. Make sure there is enough space between the cookies since they expand while baking. Decorate with colored sugar and leave them in the fridge again (yes, this is a very important step). This will help the cookies to keep their shape. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (fan assisted).

Bake for 8-10 mins (depending on the thickness) until the edge of the cookies turn golden. Leave them on the baking sheet for 2 more mins and then cool on the wire rack. Once Anjalie was tired of cutting out the heart shapes, I simply rolled a tbsp of dough between my palms, lightly flattened it and decorated with sugar to finish the rest of the dough and ended with circular cookies (not bad!). It was all done sooner than expected. Just remember to pop back the cut cookies in the fridge for 10-15 mins each time before popping it into the oven :)

You can add icing to the cookie, if you prefer, after they have fully cooled down.

I am sending this one to A Home maker's Diary and Vardhini's Bake Fest hosted by Sayantani.

1 comment:

  1. hey thanks for your mail to my event. really glad to find you through this. you have created such a lovely space here...loads of love your little critique.
    am sorry but by mistake I have uploaded a wrong logo. could you please update the post with the right one. really sorry for this mistake...


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