I'd be really hard pressed to choose between cookies or cake, but I think if I was stranded on a desserted (get it?) island I'd go to the cookie table.
I love cookies for lots of reasons but most importantly because 1. they are delicious and 2. because they are simple and don't require a lot of ingredients or preparation. I've made eggless peanut butter cookies for dinner on a few occasions when we're all out of groceries. Shh.. don't tell mom.
I've been baking since I was allowed to touch the oven, which was before I was even allowed to have a sleepover! I've gotten tips from some great bakers over the years and even worked in my share of bakeries. One of my biggest challenges is making the right amount. I some how always end up with enough to feed a football team. So, this recipe is perfect for you and your valentine!
What you will need:
Cookie cutter of your choice (optional)
1 stick Butter, room temperature (If you use salted, do not salt the dough; if you use unsalted, remember to add a pinch of salt)
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract (I fill the cap and pour that into the dough)
1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (plus extra for dusting)
1. In your mixing bowl, add butter, sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated. I used to have a super fancy sifter, but I've moved so many times it got left behind. Now, I use a pasta strainer as my sifter. It's about $5 at any grocery store and it has so many wonderful uses!
2. Sift your flour and slowly beat into your butter/sugar mixture. I add about 1/3 at a time. Your dough should be crumbly at this point, but if it is too dry you can add a teaspoon or two of water at a time. Remember this is a dough and not a batter!
3. With your hands or a spatula, compress the dough and lay it onto your plastic wrap. Form a disc and wrap it up to sit in the fridge for 30-45 minutes. Then, preheat your oven to 300°F.
4. Once the dough is cooled, flour your work space and roll it out to a little less than 1/4" thick. Now you can begin cutting your cookies!
5. Place them on your cookie tray, but you don't have to worry too much about spacing since these cookies won't rise too much. You will want to prick them with a fork though so air bubbles don't form. Let the cookies bake for approximately 18 minutes or until the edges are golden.
6. Once they are out, let them cool thoroughly. I like to use the oven rack out of my toaster oven as a cooling rack. Once they are cool, you can ice and decorate however you want!
Now you can enjoy your cookies and have a Happy Valentine's Day with your special someone... or with your cookies ;)