Ah, Valentines Day.
A day to be loathed, single or not. If you’re single, you hate it because you don’t have anyone nice to bring you flowers.
If you’re like me, you still don’t get anything for Valentines day, even when you’re married. (uh huh, I’m staring daggers at the back of YOUR head, husband.)
But no matter.
Who needs someone to bring you gifts when you’re damn well capable of making your own pretty things?!
And what could be better than sugar cookies? There are thousands of recipes for them- thick and thin, soft and crisp, frosted or not.
I like them thin and crisp. As for icing- well, usually I can take it or leave it. However, Valentines Day cookies just seem like they need a little bit of embellishment.
When I considered making cookies for valentines day, I immediately grabbed this AWESOME vintage cookbook I bought when I was at home in the US this summer.
It’s called “The Holiday Cookbook: 220 festive recipes for every holiday.” Copyright 1955.
There are some humdingers in this thing. For Lincoln and Washington’s Birthday there’s “Rail Splitter’s Roast” and “Washington Cherry Tricorn Tarts.” The 4th of July has “Celebration Day Beans” and Halloween has “Goblin Franks.”
Please suppress the desire to snicker.
Indeed, the recipe names are pretty goofy, but the recipes themselves aren’t half bad. Especially the recipe for Valentine Cookies, which I will share with you, here:
Vintage Valentine Sugar Cookies
2 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2/3 c. butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg and set aside. Cream butter together with vanilla extract until softened. Add sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy after each addition. Add the two beaten eggs in thirds, beating thoroughly after each addition. Stir in try ingredients in fourths, blend well. Cover and chill dough in fridge about 1 hour.
Remove amount of dough needed for a single rolling and return remainder to fridge immediately. Roll dough 1/16 in. thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with floured cookie cutter, sprinkle with sugar.*
Bake at 375 F (190C) 12 to 15 minutes. Remove immediately to cooling racks to cool.
* I didn’t sprinkle with sugar since I was planning on icing them. I used royal icing to ice my cookies, using this recipe at joyofbaking.com.
What I noticed about this dough is that it is quite soft. You need to work quickly and carefully when rolling out and cutting. I used a thin dough scraper to help lift the cookies to the cookie sheet because the cookies were getting misshappen when I tried just using my fingers. Try to add a little bit of the previous scrap dough to new dough each time to minimize a change in texture and flavor. Also, keep an eye on them. They seemed to go from perfect to slightly over browned in a snap.
My icing job was kind of crappy, I’ve never tried outlining and flooding cookies with royal icing before. It took me almost the whole batch before I got the hang of outlining enough for my piping to be straight and not look like a 3 year old did it. I mostly managed to cover up my mistakes with white icing, though. :P
The cookies themselves are thin, delicate and crisp. They have a light butter flavor and the nutmeg just adds a little spicy something different to the whole equation. I bet they’d be good with cardamom, too.
If you’re single, I hope you enjoy making these to eat all by yourself. If you’ve got a Valentine, but he doesn’t bother bringing you flowers, I hope you enjoy making these to eat all by yourself.
Happy Valentines Day!