Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentine's Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope everyone is enjoying the day with loved ones. I, like many this year, celebrated last night instead of today with a lovely evening spent with my loved one. We went for drinks and to the cinema to see A Single Man at my favourite small independent cinema. The film was on in the Classic Cinema which gives the option of Stalls or Circle, so we sat upstairs in a cosy two seater leather sofa with a glass of red wine in hand. Afterwards, we finished off the evening at a restaurant eating delicious pasta. A fantastic film and great food - how have you spent yours?

This morning I awoke to the urge to make some Valentine's cookies and looked to my current favourite baking book, The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook to turn their Sugar Cookies into Valentine's Sugar Cookies by using heart shaped cutters.




Ingredients for the cookies:
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
280g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
400g plain flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Ingredients for the royal icing:
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
310g icing sugar, sifted
food colouring, optional

Shaped biscuit cutters, 4 baking trays lined with greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 170˚C (325˚F) Gas 3


Put the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and cream until light and fluffy.


Add the egg and mix well, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.


Add the flour, salt and cream of tartar and mix well, but don't overmix. The dough should be light, soft and easy to handle.






Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Cut out shapes with your choice of biscuit cutters.


Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking trays and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Check them regularly to make sure they are not burning.


The cookies should be very light golden on the outer edges and paler in the centre. When you are happy that they are cooked through, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


Decorate with Royal Icing. (Beat the egg white and lemon juice together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk). Gradually start adding the icing sugar, mixing well after every addition to ensure all sugar is incorporated. Whisk until you get stiff peaks. If the icing is too runny, add a little more sugar. Stir in a couple of drops of food colouring, if using, and decorate the cookies).




My late night ended up getting the better of me and I gave up on the decoration of the cookies. But these cookies are so sweet they really don't need the extra icing - although it does make them look rather pretty!



47 comments:

  1. for sure I´ll try this recipe!

    Thanks for sharing ñ_ñ

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  2. The cookies look lovely, we also went out last night for Italian food and a drink or two.

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  3. these look beautiful! I must try them as I have the cookbook too.

    Thanks for entering the giveaway!

    I managed to get two tickets for A Single Man tonight and I am so ridiculously excited! Glad you liked it. x

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  4. i bet they were good!

    i like your kitchen and appliances.

    most of all, i LOVE your photos, Paula. i was tinkering with my aperture settings to focus on something and have the rest really blurry, but couldn't quite accomplish that effect just so. you have no idea how much your photos inspire me!

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  5. Those look so yummy! I am cohcolated out after a feasty of a valentine's weeken,d so those are perfect for my sugar cravings without making me never want to look at another chocolate bar again!

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  6. These look absolutely delicious!

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  7. This is utterly gorgeous. Beautiful cookies - and beautiful photography.

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  8. That sounds like such a wonderful night! I love your photos!

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  9. So sweet, thanks for sharing!

    P.S.: ♥Please don't forget to join the Howbeadyful giveaway!♥

    Good luck!

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  10. Those are too cute :)

    Happy valentine's day!

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  11. Ah, lovely post, and beautiful photos, too! I'll definitely try these ones - maybe for the next girls' night in? :)

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  12. Sounds like the perfect evening. I like those small cinemas much better than the big ones as well, they have so much charm.

    I'm leaving Thursday by the way- I'm very excited. Sounds like we won't be able to meet up this time, huh? Ah well...to bad I'm not staying another weekend. But I'm sure it won't be my last time over there. :)

    S*

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  13. this is one of the few recipes from that book i've actually not tried! i think i'll have to though, i have so many cute cookie cutters

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  14. wow, I love everything about this, from that pretty looking cookbook, the photos and your cherry blossom cake tin!

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  15. Looking good! I really enjoy the variety of things you show us on your blog. Thanks. :)

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  16. The cookies look beautiful Paula! Happy Valentine's Day hun.

    xx Love & Aloha.

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  17. awwwh your biscuits are so lovely! i hope they were super tasty?

    robyn x

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  18. These look so pretty! Will definitely try them :)

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  19. Ooh those look yummy!!

    Happy Valentine's Day darling!!!

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  20. ooh these look so nice! yum yum xx

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  21. wow girl! So yummy and great shots!

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  22. what an amazing post! and those photographs, phew ... making my wanting to have a cookie @ 1am ;-)))

    happy valentine - much love, xx

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  23. I keep meaning to get that cookery book. I love baking. They look yummy.

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  24. Hmmmmm divine biscuits!!

    Your photos are an enchanting moment of pleasure for the eyes!

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  25. they came out so pretty! I love the hummingbird book.

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  26. I will try this recipe!! your cookies look really yummy!!

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  27. great post, nice recipe, and beautiful pictures! thank you for posting this <33

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  28. mmmmmhmmmm, I can smell them ♥ It's 23.30 , I am sitting in a hotel in Madrid and I am so hungry now....

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  29. yummy!! great photos as always :)
    Vicki aka
    magpie-girl.blogspot.com xo

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  30. yum yum yum, i love the touch of the purple icing. your pictures always make everything look 100x more magical. :)

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  31. Thanks for sharing you Valentine's plans! You cookies look delicious, and your pictures are just simply beautiful.

    This theatre you went to sounds amazing! I would love to have done something like that with my sweetheart for Valentines. But we had a great one anyhow :-)

    Found your blog through PuglyPixel...

    Stop by and check out mine sometime!

    http://bardotinblue.com

    xoxo Bardot

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  32. That cinema sounds so perfect!
    Also the cookies look goood :)

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  33. yummy ! :D
    happy belated valentines day <3

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  34. Oh they are so pretty! I love cookie cutter shapes and love making biscuits with them. I've not got a pretty star like in that book you show though!
    I'm going to have to go and hunt one down now though - I have a dreadfull urge to make sparkly star biscuits!

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  35. i went to see a single man for vday and baked heart shaped cookies for my man too!! such a great film! it looked so good!!!

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  36. what is cream of tartar and where would I find it please?! xx

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  37. shopgirl - it is an acid salt used in cooking - best known for helping stabilize and give more volume to beaten egg whites. you should get it from the baking section of any supermarket, it will be near to bicarb soda & baking powder.

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  38. Thank you!! I'll go hunt it out!! :))

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