Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008 - Aunt Esther's Hearts

One of the fondest memories from my childhood is Valentine cookie baking day with my Aunt Esther. My dad's brother and his family lived directly across the street from us, and my Aunt Esther was a wonderful baker. But it was always the Valentine day cookies I loved best and can still taste.

Aunt Esther's Hearts

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour

In a bowl, sift the salt, baking powder and flour; set aside.

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg, blend well on medium low speed. Add vanilla and blend until incorporated. Add the sifted dry ingredients a little at a time and mix only until blended.

Divide dough into three balls. Roll out a ball at a time on a lightly floured surface to approximately 1/8" thick. Cut into shapes. Gather scraps and reroll all scraps from all previously rolled dough in a single batch after rolling out each ball of dough. Place on parchment papered baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for six minutes. Cookies should not brown, but be set. Remove to a rack to cool completely.


2 tblsp. butter, melted
2 cups 10X (confectioners) sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tblsp. milk
a drop or two of red food coloring

Add butter to sugar in mixing bowl. Blend, adding salt, then vanilla, at low speed. Add milk one tablespoon at a time, blending well after each addition. Scrape bowl sides and bottom, mix until smooth. Add red coloring. Icing should be pale pink, not Pepto looking!

Frost cookies and allow to set until dry on a rack. Place between sheets of waxed paper in a tin to store. Makes 4 to 5 dozen.

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