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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Eat, Drink and Be Mine!

Happy Valentine's Day! Friends, significant others and spouses often exchange cards, flowers and/or gifts on this holiday, BUT we thought it would be more fun to host a cookie decorating party. Because I am the closest thing to Martha Stewart amongst my girlfriends, they were quite eager to put on their baking hats and assist me in the kitchen. If you want to bake some Valentine's Day treats for the special people in your life, you will need a heart shaped cookie cutter, a tasty sugar cookie recipe and pink, red, and white glaze icing. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also add sprinkles and pearls. 
My girlfriends and I began our evening baking lesson with a fresh glass of Ina Garten's lemonade. We made an adult version of this beverage for our nautical birthday party. Next we began making the sugar cookies. I love Sally's Baking Addiction's recipe. Her cookies are soft, moist and delicious. She recommends chilling the cookie dough AFTER you rolled out the dough. Most recipes suggest chilling the dough before rolling. It doesn't take a genius to know that rolling dough and then chilling is way easier than trying to roll out a cold, hard chunk of dough! Chilling is necessary before you use your favorite cookie cutter. 
I usually like to bake and decorate on separate days. Since this was a baking lesson and a cookie decorating party, we did everything on the same day! We used a heart shaped cookie cutter and white, pink and red glaze icing to decorate our cookies. My girlfriends and sister LOVED designing their sweetheart cookies. We hope our friends and lovers enjoyed eating these treats just as much as we did!
We also celebrated Valentine's Day with a Gatsby themed party. This was just as fun as our friend, Veena's 1920s midnight in Paris party!

xoxo  Archana

"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies."––Aristotle

Sugar Cookies with Glaze Icing
Recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction
Yield: 20 cookies, depending on size of cookie cutter
Cookies
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature1
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
    1. In a large bowl using a Kitchen Aid stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed and smooth - about 1 minute
    2. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes
    3. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed
    4. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combine, about 2 minutes.
    5. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl
    6. Turn the mixer down to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined
    7. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined
    8. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each to about 1/4″ thickness
    9. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. 
    10. Once chilled for at least one hour, preheat oven to 350°F
    11. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper
    12. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes.
    13. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet
    14. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. 
    15. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing
    Glaze Icing
    Ingredients
    • 3 cup confectionary sugar 
    • 4 tablespoons milk
    • 6 tablespoons corn syrup
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Directions
      1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth
      2. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla extract until icing is smooth and glossy
      3. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup
      4. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity
      5. Fill squeeze bottles and decorate cookies

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