Saturday, February 12, 2011

WINDOW-TO-MY-HEART COOKIES



My MIL recently gave me a new cookbook - Fun Stuff Cookies.  Since Valentine's Day is coming up I decided to try out these heart-shaped cookies.  They took a little while to make, so I made them once the kids were asleep, but they tasted very yummy!  Alivia enjoyed hammering the hard candies before going to bed.  




I thought doing this step before the kids went to bed would be best since it was going to be loud, and it was so fun!


RECIPE
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
20 cherry or cinnamon-flavored hard candies, crushed

1.  Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl.  Beat butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended after each addition.  Stir in cranberries.  Shape dough into disc; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
2.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats.  Roll out dough between parchment paper to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out shapes using 2-3 inch heart cookie cutter.  Cut out center of each cookie using heart cookie cutter; re-roll scraps to make additional hearts.
3.  Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.  Sprinkle crushed candy into each opening.  Bake 20 minutes or until candy is melted and cookies are set.  Cool completely on cookie sheets.


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Also, for a special treat on Valentine's night for the hubby, I made these brownies (pre-packaged mix I bought at Kroger on sale) that came with chocolate icing and I bought some vanilla icing to melt and drizzle on top.  After baking the brownies, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut them out, and put them on a cooling rack to frost.  I thought the red sugar sprinkles added a nice finishing touch.





And last, but certainly not least . . . .




What is a Valentine's Day without chocolate covered strawberries?  A sad one, or may be just a really busy one and no access to a grocery store to buy pre-made.  Thankfully, I had the strawberries, chocolate chips and vanilla icing on hand so these were a quick treat.  I lined a baking sheet with wax paper, washed and dried the strawberries, dipped them in melted semi-sweet chocolate chips, and put them in the freezer.  After about an hour I took them out of the freezer to add the melted (just a little) vanilla frosting.  I squeezed it through the tip of a sandwich baggie after cutting a corner.  I put them back in the refrigerator to harden and stay fresh until eaten.  Yum! Yum!