Valentine’s Day is probably my third favorite holiday, after my birthday and Christmas. My favorite color is pink, my favorite food is tons and tons of chocolate, and I LOVE love so it really hits all the marks in my book. I am super lucky that I grew up with parents who have always gone all out with holidays (even my half birthday) so it is in my blood to make a big deal about Valentine’s Day.
Williams-Sonoma came out with an adorable set of Valentine’s Day themed cookie cutters that not only were the perfect shapes and came in different shades of red and pink but the set of three was UNDER $10. It was a no brainer that I had to get them.
The process of actually baking and decorating them was a little more challenging than I initially anticipated (if I had anticipated it, I probably would have been able to avoid most of my trials and tribulations). I didn’t have a cutting board, rolling pin, or pastry bag, all three of which were pretty key for making frosted sugar cookies. I improvised with a super clean counter, a water bottle, and several flat plates that I filled with the glaze for my cookies.
Due to a way more hectic week than I was initially expecting, I didn’t end up making the cookies until after Valentine’s Day (I know, I know, I should just fire myself) but they were as big of a hit among my roommates as if I had made them for the actual occasion.
I was feeling inspired by the many versions of frosted sugar cookies I saw on other food blogs and on Williams-Sonoma’s website. However, without a pastry bag and tip, I had to get pretty creative in my dipping method and fork technique.
Another thing I’m hoping to improve on as a food blogger is my effort to write recipes down. Once I get pretty good at making something simple (marinara sauce, frosting, etc.), I make up the recipe as I go along, relying only on a few key ingredients and my taste buds to tell me when something is ready. Therefore, I didn’t follow any exact recipe for the glaze, but I did include what seemed to have worked well for me.
I used this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which is one of my go-to websites for any sort of dessert recipe:
Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature1
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (makes the flavor outstanding)
2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
(Since my decorating tools were limited, I added 2 tsp. of red food coloring to half the dough to make a marble effect!)
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. softened butter (I actually prefer shortening but butter was all I had on hand)
¼ cup milk (this is a great chance to use coconut milk or almond milk for some extra flavor!)
*feel free to add 1 tsp. of extra of any other flavor (lemon, coconut, almond, etc.)
Sift the powdered sugar through a small mesh strainer to get all of the lumps out. (This is a super important step since you want the glaze to be smooth and even on the cookies!)
Blend all of the ingredients until they are well incorporated. The glaze should be thin and smooth but not too runny. If it doesn’t seem thick enough, slowly add ¼ cup of powdered sugar at a time until it gets to the right consistency.
Separate the glaze into three different plates. Leave one plain for white icing, add 1 drop of red food coloring for pink icing, and 2 drops of food coloring for a deeper red.
Dip the cookies into the glaze color of your choice and let harden for a couple of minutes. Using a fork, drizzle a different color glaze on top of the cookie. Have fun and be creative with this part.
Eat IMMEDIATELY until you get a tummy ache.