Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet Vanilla Hearts

I made another variation yesterday of the "One Dough, 30 Cookies" recipe from the Martha Stewart Holiday 2010 magazine, this time using the most basic vanilla flavoured dough.  I also wanted to use my new set of heart cookie cutters to help celebrate Valentine's Day today.

They were very easy to prepare and decorate and everyone seemed to enjoy this crispy, not-to-sweet vanilla cookies today.  Aren't they cute?


3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsps vanilla extract

Prep before baking:

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture.  Beat until combined.

Shape dough into two discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 45 mins-1 hour until chilled.  Allow dough to "warm up" slightly for 15 minutes before rolling out onto lightly floured parchment paper.  I placed the paper right into the baking sheets, since the dough goes *back* into the fridge to chill a second time before cutting out shapes.

Remove from fridge after 30 minutes and cut desired shapes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  The quantity of cookies will depend on the size of cookie cutters used.  The great thing about this dough is that it doesn't expand when baking - the cookies hold their shape beautifully and my batch yielded 4 dozen cookies.

To decorate with sugar, brush lightly with water and sprinkle with coloured sugar.  Bake 6-8 minutes, remove and rotate baking sheets and bake for an addition 6-8 minutes, totalling no more than 15 minutes at most.  Enjoy!

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