Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've got 15 minutes until Valentine's Day is over, so my title for this post is just barely legitimate. As everyone well knows, today is Valentine's Day. For the most part I think it's kind of a silly holiday, but that doesn't mean it can't be a fun one! Pink is one of my favorite colors, and I love a pretty decoration as much as any girl, so I do rather love the design scheme that generally comes with this holiday.
Every year, my mom sends me a Valentine's Day package. Last year it contained heart shaped measuring cups (as seen in the above picture). This year it contained thin mints and a bottle of one of my favorite salad dressings. Cookies and salad dressing may seem like an odd combo for a Valentine's Day gift, but they were much appreciated. There are few things that make me as happy as a thin mint. Now I just have to be careful to ration them out and make the two boxes last as long as possible. I can never seem to find thin mints in New York. Girl scouts can't exactly go door to door here, so where do they sell their wares?

In honor of the holiday, I decided to bake heart shaped sugar cookies. I was too lazy to make the frosting that goes with the cookies, so I just decorated them with multi-colored sugar flakes. The sugar flakes do give the cookies a pretty, festive look, and take way less decoration time than frosting!

I enjoyed these with a delightful mug of milk. The mug shown here is a "hug mug" from Max Brenner. You can hug it with your hands! I thought that would be a cute compliment to my heart shaped cookies. Hug mugs are also a pretty good gift idea for Valentine's Day, especially if your loved one enjoys drinking coffee or tea!
Sugar Cookies
recipe adapted from 17andbaking

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugars and the butter until fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, then gradually mix into the butter-sugar mix until just blended.
Flatten the dough into a disk, cover in plastic wrap, and cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or store in the freezer for up to a week.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4" thickness.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut with a cookie cutter and transfer to ungreased baking tray using a spatula. Sprinkle sugar flakes on cookies.
Freeze these cookie shapes for 15 minutes before you bake them to help preserve the shapes.
Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on cookie size) until edges are lightly golden.
Cool on tray for 5 minutes, then cool completely on wire rack.
Enjoy them on your own, or with a valentine!


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