Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Cookies!

One of my favorite treats in the world to enjoy is a nice cut-out sugar cookie with butter cream frosting! I think I've finally found a recipe that will become a keeper! Another one of my "favorites" is to take cookies to special people. The only problem with this is that I develop this huge list of people to take cookies to, feel overwhelmed by it, and then decide to forget the whole idea. Well, I've developed a plan so I can deliver the cookies and not feel too overwhelmed! At Christmas, we took cookies to all of our doctors, dentists, etc. For Valentine's day, I came up with four people or places that I think are just full of the nicest people in the world. For St. Patrick's Day, I'll pick a few people that I'm "lucky to know". Got any ideas for other holidays?
One of the things we've been studying in Bible Study is striving to make our lives look like and show Christ is such a way that would make people wonder about the HOPE that lives inside us. Sharing cookies is one way I'm trying to achieve sharing God's love, my joy and the hope I have from Christ with others. You're going to laugh when you hear who these cookies went to--our pediatrician's wife and his nurse (they are just the nicest ladies in the world!), our bank teller Donna (always full of tootsie rolls!), and Gymboree and Gap at Jordan Creek. I know those last two seem silly, but these gals are so sweet and always put up with me trucking in with the huge stroller digging for bargains. They are so kind!
Here are our goodie bags full of cookies:

They say, "Thank You for being the nicest people in the world! Happy Valentine's Day!"

It's a good thing these are just for giving away...they are tooo yummy!

White Velvet Cutouts
2 c. butter, softened
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 c. flour

Butter Cream Frosting
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar, divided
3 T. butter, softened
1 T. shortening
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 to 4 T. milk, divided

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour. Cover and chill 2 hours or until firm. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/4 in. thickness. Cut into shapes; place 1 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until set, not browned. Cool 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.
For frosting, combine 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla and 3 T. milk in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Gradually add remaining sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add enough remaining milk and food coloring if desired until frosting reaches desired consistency. Frost cookies. *I use a plastic squeeze bottle like a mustard bottle and it works amazingly well!

I also threw some of these into the bags. Lydia brought these to MOPS and they are super delicious and pretty low in calories. They are a Martha Stewart special recipe!

Chocolate Sweet Hearts

1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg

In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, place chocolate, butter, and brown sugar; stir frequently until almost completely melted. Remove from heat, and stir until completely melted; let cool slightly.

Add egg to chocolate mixture. With a mixer on low, beat until well blended. Gradually stir in flour mixture (dough will form a ball).

Divide dough in half; roll out each half on a sheet of parchment paper to a 1/4-inch thickness. Transfer each half (still on paper) to a baking sheet; freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working with one half at a time, flip dough onto a work surface; peel off paper. Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies; place, 1/2 inch apart, on two baking sheets. Bake until firm and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

My Valentines!

We are off for a couple of days! Cloe doesn't have school tomorrow, so in just a few minutes we are taking off for the Wasserbahn Holiday Inn near Williamsburg. They have a great looking water park which we are all excited to hit! The best part for me is included in the room rate comes a gift card for the outlets! Woo-hoo!
Have a Happy Valentine's Day with your Sweethearts!


peter marie said...

What a sweet idea with the cookies!

Hope you guys have a BLAST on your vacation. That sounds wonderful!! It will be fun to kind of be snowed in too. :)

Alisa said...

That is so great, Londa. From what I know of you, you do a wonderful job of living Christ out in your life. You are so sweet and servant-hearted! I love the idea of giving cookies to people who will not expect it! What a blessing! You're great.