Sometimes I’m asked where I find the props I use in the photographs for my blog…I’ll let you in on one of my most favorite places to shop for my props. Painted Fox Home is where I find a lot of beautiful new and vintage pieces that are just perfect for butter, basil, and breadcrumbs photos! Take a look at this gorgeous covered tray, called The Kermit, and that wonderful brass beading! I just love this piece because of its vintage charm, and warmth that it brings to not only my photos, but to my home.
It’s funny, since my kids have all grown, Valentine’s Day really isn’t my favorite holiday, but yet, I’ve written so many Valentine’s posts in the last couple of weeks for Everything Home Magazine’s February Issue, Deco and Bloom, Hudson Daniel, and my soufflé… that I feel as though St. Valentine and I are starting to bond…
And while I say it isn’t my favorite holiday, I do love to bake for Valentine’s Day, especially cut-out hearts for my kids. Well, more so when they were younger, but I think they still appreciate them today…
This particular batch has a cinnamon flavor icing. It’s not too over powering, but as Jessica described it, “It starts out strong, and then fades away to just a hint of cinnamon after you take that first bite”. So in essence, you’re getting the full flavor of the cookie with the sweetness of the icing, and a hint of cinnamon in the background. Perfect. And if you don’t like the idea of cinnamon…substitute vanilla extract, or cherry, strawberry, or whatever flavor tickles your fancy!
This is really my go-to cut out cookie. It maintains its shape perfectly after it comes out of the oven. It has a delicious sugar cookie flavor… stays chewy for days as long as you store it in an air tight container! I left these cookies out overnight so that the icing would dry completely, and they were still perfectly soft in the morning!
Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends…
- 2 sticks chilled salted butter, cubed
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 4½ cups all purpose flour
- Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, combine the butter cubes, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, beating on slow until the butter is no longer cubes, but not so long that it turns creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time just until combined after each addition.
- Slowly add the flour beating just until combined after each addition. Beat until the dough forms a ball.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The dough must be chilled completely in order for it to keep its cutout shape.
- After the dough is completely chilled, divide in half. Keep one half out to work with, and wrap the remaining half in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to roll out.
- Working with the first half of dough, roll out on a generously floured surface to ¼ inch. Dip the heart shaped cookie cutter into flour before cutting into the dough, so that it releases the cutout easily.
- Begin cutting out the dough, and carefully lift the cookie shape from the floured surface (using a thin spatula helps to lift the cutout without destroying its shape), and place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough, dipping the cookie cutter into flour after each cutout. If the cutout shape sticks inside the cutter, tap the cutter against the palm of your hand to release the cookie.
- Gather the dough scraps, and roll out one more time to ¼ inch. Cut more cookie shapes until all of the dough has been used.
- Repeat with the remaining half of cookie dough.
- It is imperative that the dough remains chilled before baking to that it will retain its cutout shape!
- After the baking sheet of cutouts has chilled for 8-10 minutes*, bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.