Why Do We Celebrate Valentines Day?
The history of Valentines Day is not completely clear. There are a couple versions of how it started. One well known story is that there was an Italian doctor who later became a priest who support the love of young couples. Against the orders of the Emperor Claudius II, he married couples in secrecy. When Claudius learned of Valentine’s actions he ordered that he be put to death.
Another story exclaims that Valentine was caught assisting Christians escape terrible conditions in Roman prisons. During his time of being imprisoned, Valentine wrote the first “valentine” message greeting to a young girl who visited him during his confinement.It is said that his message ended with “From your Valentine.
Stories vary about St Valentine, but a common theme that resinates is that he was a kind and loving man. He believed in the power of love and wanted couples that were in love to be together. We continue today to celebrate Valentines Day with expressions of love and to show appreciation for one another.
Valentines Cookies- Strawberry Sugar Cookies
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg at room temperture
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons strawberry extract
Making the Sugar Cookie Dough:
- Start off with sifting into a large bowl the flour baking powder and teh salt. Set the bowl aside until ready to add to the mixing bowl.
- Cream room temperture butter with the sifted powdered sugar. Scrap the bowl down as needed. Cream the sugar and butter at least 5 minutes or until the color becomes pale and the consistency is very creamy.
- In a small bowl whisk together the egg and the 2 extracts until blended. Slowly add the egg mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Ensure that the egg mixture is mixed well into the butter mixture.
- Slowly, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Scrap the bowl down as needed.
- Turn the cookie dough out onto plastic wrap. Form the dough into a disk and refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Shaping the Cookie Dough:
- Remove teh dough from the refrigerator and quarter the dough disk into 4 pieces.You will find that the dough will be hard and stiff.
- Pinch off a piece of dough…about 1/2 from one of the quarters. Work the dough in your hands until it is soft enough to start rolling it out. The dough can be rolled between 2 pieces of parchment paper or directly on a silicone mat.
- Using your preference, roll the ough out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out your cookie shapes.
- Gather scraps and add more dough that was set aside to continue rolling out and cutting cookies.
- Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. About a dozen cookies that are 3 inches in size will fit on a cookie sheet.
- Place the sheet into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until the cookies have set, feel firm cold to the touch and firm.
- Place the cookies directly from the refrigerator into a preheated oven that is 350 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes. The cookies should be slightly brown on the edges and appear set.
- Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Cool completely before decorating.
- Sifting the powered sugar will help with preventing a few clumps remaining in the dough
- These cookies can be made in advance of decorating. Store the cookies in an airtight container lined with parchment paper. Place parchment between layers of the cookies. Can store for up to 2 weeks.
- Sugar cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Completely thaw the cookies before decorating.
How the Cookies were Decorated
Here is the link for my Royal icing recipe…Easy To Work With Royal Icing.
After making up a batch of royal icing, divide the icing into small containers for the number of different colors you will be using. The containers need to have an airtight lid. I like to use 1 cup containers for mixing and storing the different colors of royal icing.
Marbled Icing with Sprinkles:
The first step is to apply a coat of white royal icing into the cookies. There are several different methods to accomplish this task. You can dip the cookies, spread the icing on, or pipe the icing onto the cookies.
Holding onto the cookie, I dipped the cookie into the white icing. Using a butter knife, I removed the excess from the edges. Gently, shake the cookie back and forth and the icing will smooth out
Holding the cookie in your hand and using an offset spatula or knife, apply the white icing the the cookie
Fill a small piping bag with some of the white royal icing. Apply a boarder around the edge of the cookie and then flood the inside of the boarder.
Adding the Coloring For Marbling
While the white icing is still wet. Apply the additional colors that you would like to use. This can be done a piping bag, dripping the colored icing from a spoon or using an off set spatula. Randomly place your coloring icing on top of the white icing.
How to Marble the Colors
Using a straight edge swipe from top to bottom of the cookie to marble the icing. Additional coloring can be added after the swipe if you believe it needs more. Apply more of the desired colored icing and swipe the icing again.
In the picture above, you can see the use of template over the cookie.
I cut out the shape and size of the cookie into a paper template using the cookie cutter for the size. The paper template was placed on top of the cookie. The purpose of the template was to catch the run out icing.
This step is not essential, but it is helpful with keeping the workspace cleaner.
Once you have the desired marbling look, sprinkle your favorite sprinkles onto the cookies.
Adding Cupid to the Cookie
Making your own Stencil
Search the internet for an imagine that you like. Adjust the imagine size to fit on your cookie. Print the imagine and then using an exact -a-knife cut around the edges of the imagine. Making numbers holes with a push pin would work as well.
After there are lines cut or pin holes made, place the paper template onto the cookie. Using a edible marker trace around the edges of the image. The small cuts will allow for the imagine to be transferred onto the cookie. It will not be a complete imagine, but you can see where you need to connect the lines or dots.
Another method is to cut the imagine and out and place on top of the cookie and trace around the edges with a edible mark. The challenge can be keeping the image in place and no sliding around while tracing.
A recommendation if tracing an imagine with either method is to use a color edible pen that is the same as the main imagine. Using a black pen required ” going outside of the lines ” to cover the marks. When a red pen was used with the Cupid stencil, the marks faded into the red royal icing and where not noticeable.
If you are great with drawing, the templates can be omitted and the imagine can be outlined onto the cookie with the royal icing.
After the imagine is on the cookie, the next step is to outline the imagine in royal icing and to flood the design with your royal icing.
Valentines Day is associated with red roses, cards, chocolate candy, and strawberries. I hope you will give these cookies a try and that they become a stable with your Valentine Days celebrations.
The strawberry flavor makes them a unique cookie that is extraordinary in its flavor. The recipient of these cookies will be amazed and charmed that you made these sensational cookies just for them.
Please let me know what you thought about the cookies. As always, take some pictures and share them