Did you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with flowers, love and sweets?
Growing up, my mom, my sister and I went to a Valentine’s party each year with the other girls and moms in our play group. We all dressed up in our pink and red dresses, drank tea and ate finger sandwiches and impeccably decorated sugar cookies. Ms. Alice, the mother who hosted the party every year, is famous for her delicious sugar cookies. She makes them for every gathering, has the perfect cookie cutter for every occasion, decorates each one uniquely and beautifully with different icing colors, designs and sprinkles. Everyone makes a beeline for her cookies at get-togethers.
These cookies are soft and chewy and not oversweet-which means you can add all of the icing and sprinkles your heart desires : )
Who doesn’t love cute sprinkles? Copious amounts are acceptable and expected.
Each time we have these, my dad exclaims that they are “some damn fine sugar cookies,” so we now call them Alice’s Damn Fine Sugar Cookies. Make these cookies, extend your valentine’s day celebration and enjoy!
Alice’s Damn Fine Sugar Cookies
3 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients.
Pat your hands, a rolling pin and a flat surface with flour and roll the dough until it is about ¼-inch thick. Using your cookie cutters of choice cut out the dough and transfer the shapes onto the parchment covered cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked but not yet golden around the edges. If the edges begin to brown your cookies will be crisper rather than chewy and soft. Place the cookies on a wire rack and let cool completely.
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 egg whites or 2 tablespoons meringue powder
Water for thinning
Food coloring or gel colors*
Combine the confectioner’s sugar and egg whites (or meringue powder) in the bowl of an electric mixer until the ingredients have combined. Mix for about 5 more minutes. If your icing is too thick to pipe add a few teaspoons of water at a time to the mixer. If you add too much water, never fear! Just add a bit more confectioner’s sugar.
Once your icing is the appropriate consistency (a little runny but still stiff enough to control), mix in food coloring or gel colors.
To ice the cookies, transfer your icing to a pastry bag fit with an icing tip. This is easier to do if you place the open pastry bag upright, tip down in a cup. Make sure all icing not in use is always covered so it does not start to harden.
Pipe your cookies with all the fun designs your heart desires. If you are going to use sprinkles, make sure you pour them on the cookie while the icing is still wet. Let the cookies dry, uncovered, for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
*Gel colors are more concentrated and require less color. They can be found at Michaels or other arts, crafts and baking stores as well as online.