Hubby’s Dad, and his partner, are visiting us in a few days so we have been cleaning, grocery shopping and baking up a storm. Last night I tried a really good sugar cookie recipe from my favorite cookie cookbook (see below) and topped it with a simple, food colouring-free pink icing. Even though Hubby & I are boring and ignore Valentine’s Day, I though anyone whipping up some Valentine’s treats this weekend might like this simple recipe!
There are many different kinds of icing but for cookies, icing can be really simple to make: just add any liquid to powdered sugar. In this case, I mixed copious amounts of icing sugar with all-natural (dye-free) cranberry juice. The result is a sweet, ever-so-slightly slightly fruity, icing. Here’s a ratio that works for me:
How to Make Naturally Pink Icing:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4.5 tsp. cranberry juice
This makes a small amount (pictured below) but it is better to work in small batches, lest the icing start to harden in the bowl. Depending on how many cookies you need to decorate, you might need more. For the cookie recipe that follows, I needed about three times this amount, which I made in three different batches. You want it to be smooth enough to apply to a cookie, but thick enough that it won’t drip. Try experimenting with other liquids (like grape juice) to tint your icing other colours.
I will admit that some of my iced cookies look like an uncoordinated toddler helped (can I blame Hubby?). Ah well. I cherry-picked a few pretties for you, but I don’t have heart-shaped cookie cutters. I have a flower cookie cutter and then a set of wild animals (moose, bears, squirrels, snails, hedgehogs, foxes) but can I make them Valentine’s-y? Let’s see . . .
I have a snail of a good time when I’m with you:
I love you bear-y much:
I have no idea how to make a hedgehog or a moose romantic . . .
Basic Cookie Recipe (from the book “Sunset Cookies,” click here for a similar title)
2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
2/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar (although I used brown sugar for both quantities)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. allspice, ginger and nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon (I actually added four, my mistake, but it was a yummy mistake)
- Beat shortening, butter and sugar together until creamy
- Beat in eggs and vanilla
- In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices
- Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine thoroughly
- Knead dough for a few seconds and wrap in plastic wrap
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours
- Working with small sections, keeping the remainder refrigerated until needed, roll out dough on floured surface until approx. 3/8 inch thick
- Cut out using cookie cutters
- Transfer cookies to un-greased baking sheets (I lined mine with parchment paper)
- Bake in 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned (I only needed 12 minutes)
- Transfer to cooling racks and allow to cool for a few hours before icing
I hope you enjoyed this tip. Let me know if you’re up to any yummy baking!