Valentine Sugar Cookies

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Valentine Sugar Cookies
Valentine Sugar cookies. Rolling out and cutting sugar cookies takes a little more effort than drop or bar cookies, but this is a wonderful and traditional recipe; the dough doesn’t spread and the cutout cookies keep their shape when baked.

I have included a basic recipe for confectioners sugar icing along with recipes for Royal Icing. Royal Icing made with egg whites is generally not consumed but is great for non-edible decorations such as gingerbread houses or tree ornaments. Since the egg whites are not cooked there is a greater risk of salmonella. Royal Icing made with meringue powder is safe to eat
Recipe type: Rolled Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Ungreased or Parchment Lined Oven Temp: 375° Yield: 3 Dozen Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature

Help: Cookie Hints and Tips, Colored Sugar, Royal Icing

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Ingredients
Dough:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Confectioners Sugar Icing:
  • 3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk (preferably whole milk)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Colored Sugars (optional)
Or
Royal Icing Made with Meringue Powder (edible):
  • 4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • ¼ to ½ cup warm water (or more if needed)
  • Flavoring (optional)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Colored Sugars (optional)
Tip: If using an extract for flavoring, use one that is clear so it does not add unwanted color to the finished icing, such as orange, lemon, mint, almond, and clear vanilla. Use standard measuring cups and spoons or scales for accurate measuring.
Or
Royal Icing Made with Egg Whites (non-edible):
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons warm water (or more if needed)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Colored Sugars (optional)
Instructions
Dough:
  1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar; cream together until mixture appears light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Add egg and vanilla; beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt; stir to mix.
  2. Form dough into a 6 inch flattened disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Baking sheets may be ungreased, lined with parchment paper, or lined with a non-stick baking mat.
  4. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a thickness of about ¼ inch. Cut dough into desired shapes using a cookie cutter that has been dipped in flour (to help prevent dough from sticking to the cutter.) Re-roll and cut out the scraps of dough.
  5. Bake: Use a metal spatula to place the cutout cookies on the baking sheets, placing the cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set and the edges are very lightly browned or just beginning to brown. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets 2 to 3 minutes. When they seem firm enough, move the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Make icing of your choice to frost and decorate cookies. Choose from either the Confectioners Sugar Icing, or the Royal Icing made with Meringue Powder (edible), or the Royal Icing made with egg whites (non-edible.)
Confectioners Sugar Icing:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. Use an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon and beat together until mixture is smooth, adding enough milk to make a good spreading consistency. Add food coloring if desired.
  2. Frost cooled cookies, sprinkle with sugar sprinkles if desired. Set aside until frosting is set.
Or
Royal Icing Made with Meringue Powder (edible):
  1. In a medium bowl, and using an electric mixer or hand mixer, combine meringue powder and powdered sugar. Add water in small quantities, start with tablespoons of water, then when it’s getting close to the right consistency add water in teaspoonfuls or just drops of water at a time, until it is the desired consistency; for piping and outlining, the icing should be like a thick sour cream. Add flavoring and food coloring (optional.)
  2. Use immediately. Keep unused portions covered with plastic wrap, as exposed icing will start to thicken and harden. If the icing starts to become too thick, add a few drops of water and beat until the water is thoroughly combined.
  3. Place unused icing in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag and store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Or
Royal Icing Made with Egg Whites (non-edible):
  1. In a medium bowl, and using an electric mixer or hand mixer, beat egg whites until frothy. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating after each cup until smooth. Add water, a few drops at a time, until it is the desired consistency; for piping and outlining, the icing should be like a thick sour cream. Add food coloring (optional.)
  2. Use icing immediately, keeping unused portions covered with plastic wrap, as exposed icing will start to thicken and harden. If the icing starts to become too thick, add a few drops of water and beat until water is thoroughly combined.
  3. Place unused icing in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.