Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine shortbread cookies and blog hop


What is a Valentine's holiday without baking and decorating cookies?  The other day at the library we came across this fun cookbook for kids.  It is fully illustrated and the recipes can be altered to your liking.  The first thing we decided to make were the shortbread cookies.  What's fun about it is that it gives a totally hands-on way of making the cookies.  


Now, I have to admit that I don't always jump on the chance to bake with my girls.  3 girls and 1 mom baking  in the kitchen usually sometimes sets the scene for complete chaos.  This afternoon, Mina (age 3) had decided to take a rare nap and I had some rare one-on-one time with Maisy since Lou was still at school.  On top of that, my kitchen was already a complete mess- who wants to start baking with kids in an already-clean kitchen?  Not this mama.

All you need is 3 ingredients and then you can mix in whatever else you like.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter



All the ingredients go into the bowl at the same time.  Then the fun begins.  The next step is rubbing in the butter, which means you rub the butter between your thumbs and fingertips until the dough is in a bunch of chunky crumbs.  Then you can add in any flavorings you would like.  We just used sugar sprinkles (we shook it until it looked about right).  You can use chocolate chips, coconut, cinnamon, candies, peanut butter, raisins, nuts, etc.

Here is Maisy adding in the sprinkles.

After the sprinkles were all mixed in you need to squeeze the dough together into a ball to get ready to roll out if you are cutting shapes.  You can also just roll into balls and flatten them onto the cookie sheet.  We had to add a touch of water to our dough because it just wouldn't roll out at  first.  It just kept crumbling. The dough should be rolled out on a floured surface until its uniformly about 1/4 inch thick.

Find your favorite cookie cutters and carefully transfer the cut-outs to your baking sheet.  The oven should be preheated to 325° F.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  My cookies didn't brown very much in the oven, but were still cooked through.  You can adjust the time to your liking.

We also prepared the icing suggested in the book.  It was simply a mixture of 3 tbsp. powdered sugar and 3 tbsp. water.  This mixture seemed thin, so I ended up adding about twice the powdered sugar that was called for.  We added a drop of red food coloring as well, then I saw that the recipe suggested adding the coloring with a toothpick.  Oops. I should have read more carefully and the color wouldn't have been so brilliant, but it was also fun to have such a bright cookie.

Maisy spooned the icing over the cookies once they had cooled.  The icing wasn't enough to cover all the cookies, so next time I'll remember to double the amount.  I loved how easy it was to apply the icing compared to spreading frosting with a knife.

Enter a well-rested Mina.  She was ready to help add some sprinkles to the tops of the cookies.

Finally, a taste test!  We had to remember that these are not sugar cookies, they are shortbread.  They have a completely different taste; a more buttery taste.  This made for some happy girls, and some much needed one-on-one time with the middle child.

Valentine's Day Ideas Blog Hop


Join in the Valentine's idea blog hop along with these great blogs:





3 comments:

  1. Cute idea to add the sprinkles into the dough. I will have to try that in some of my cookie recipes to add some fun! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your baking looks like lots of fun! Thanks for sharing them :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the idea of decorating them on a cooling rack with a pan underneath it. I need to remember to do that next time we bake cookies.

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