Yes well, it is almost St. Valentine’s Day, and both hearts and flowers are much on my mind. The “hearts” will be explained directly, the flowers, well, even though the New England area is still socked in with snow, here in central Texas things are leafing out, budding and blooming!
I wish you could smell it! This Meyer lemon is in my kitchen, but even the ones outside (yes, Meyer lemons can usually survive winters here outside) are about to burst into bloom. Mmmm…
And my salvias are blooming in case the hummers come back early, although I feel certain it will be at least a month yet. But the plants are getting ready…
Now, about the hearts. My garden club is one of the hosts for this month’s Austin Area Garden Council meeting which will be on Tuesday. Since we are the “Heart of the Hills” garden club, and since it is almost St. Valentine’s Day, I thought I would make sugar cookies (for 60 or so!) and use my heart shaped cookie cutter.
Its easy enough if you can time it right. Mostly it just takes a while for the dough to “set”, so you must allow at least two hours for fridge time. Other than that, these cookies are easy to make, fun to do with kids, and can be iced and dressed as fancy as your fancy takes you! They are sturdy but not tough, they travel well, and they cam be made several days ahead if store in an airtight container.
I got the recipe from a friend who says she got it from Betty Crocker. Here’s all it takes:
Certainly Somebody’s Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup butter(1-1/2 stick butter)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (large)
1 tsp. vanilla (or 1/2 tsp. lemon extract)
2-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Melt the butter. Set aside. Whisk dry ingredients together, add the egg and the extract, mix a bit then add the butter. Mix well. It should pull away form the sides of your mixing bowl. Wrap in plastic wrap or put it in a zip bag and chill at least two hours (or overnight is fine).
Dip in and take out about a fourth of dough. Roll out on floured surface. If the dough is a little sticky when you take out of bowl, dip into flour a bit. Roll out to about 1/4 inch or less. After dough is rolled out, cut out cookies and place on ungreased baking sheet.
Cook in preheated 360F degree oven for 6-8 minutes or until edges brown. Remove directly to a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or peppermint or lemon or…)
milk as needed
Mix 1 box of confectioners sugar with 1 stick of melted butter. Include about tsp. of vanilla. Add milk until consistency is spreadable. Add food coloring if desired. Go for it.
That’s easy enough, right? Mmmmm and they are buttery good!
Now before I forget, I wanted to thank Karen and the crew over at the downtown Savory Spice Shop (oh what a fun place – and does it ever smell wonderful in there!) for hosting last night’s AFBA bash. More on that event and last weekend’s Longhouse coming soon, but right now I have dozens of cookies to ice! Mmmm… what fun!