Valentine Sugar Cookies – A Labor of Love

Valentine Sugar Cookies – A Labor of Love

Yes, you read the title correctly.  I said, “LABOR of love.” Anyone and everyone who has made sugar cookies knows that it is a time consuming process.  Not only that, but they don’t always taste that great, sometimes are so hard that you feel you could break your teeth biting into them, and they don’t always seem to look professional unless you BUY them from a bakery.

There’s a little secret that some don’t know:  a lot of cookies from the bakery taste the same due to it all coming from the same cookie baking mix.  Have you ever bought a cookie at one bakery and then went to another at a different time and discovered the two bakeries had cookies that tasted the same?  Now, you know…

My youngest daughter signed me up to make Valentine Cookies for a Valentine’s Day celebration.  Well, I was going to take the easy route:  buy a bag of Valentine colored M&M’s, and make M&M cookies.  Simple, festive, fun!!!!!  But…oh no….Mom has a heart shaped cookie cutter.  It wasn’t a request.  It was begging.

My two older daughters seemed to grow up way too fast.  I looked at my youngest, knowing that she wouldn’t stay young much longer..AND knowing that this would be the last year of cookies due to her entering a higher grade level next year…I caved.  I caved.  I caved.

Let me start by saying that this project started the night before, resumed at 8:30 am the next morning, and was completed at 12 am (that would be today).

I’m tired.  I’m hurting.  I feel like I’m 100 years old.  Actually, I sometimes wonder if someone who is 100 might feel better than me.

I’ve never been extremely successful with sugar cookies.  I asked around for a great sugar cookie recipe.  I was led to this recipe:

Rolled Sugar Cookies

The night before, I made the cookie dough.  I covered it in a bowl and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  The next day, I discovered I needed two batches in order to complete 30 cookies with the thickness the recipe called for, and due to the size of the cookie cutter.  My suggestion is:  if you need more than 20, double it.  Also, I added two teaspoons of vanilla to the mix because one teaspoon wasn’t quite enough for me with the amount of flour used.

The next morning, I took the dough out, floured the rolling pin and board, and started to roll to get a thickness of  1/4 inch.  I cut out the cookies with the cookie cutter, and strategically placed them on parchment paper so they wouldn’t bake into each other.  This only permitted five cookies per cookie sheet.  The baking time took 9 minutes at 400 degrees.  With the recipe instructions, my cookies weren’t baked in the middle, so keep an eye on your baking time.
rollandcut
After the cookies were baked and cooled, I started to make a fondant.  I realized I should’ve also made it the day before in order to follow the recipe properly.  However, I was able to make it, put it in the fridge to chill it, and roll it out.

Due to making this recipe for children, I wanted to make sure the fondant would taste great, so store bought fondant was not going to work.  I made this recipe:

Marshmallow Fondant

I used a bag and a half of mini marshmallows for this recipe because it called for a 16 oz bag.  In all honesty, this was a VERY messy project.  Imagine stirring up a bag and a half of marshmallows and adding the powdered sugar to it.  It was a sticky mess!
fondant
I also found out that I had to add a lot more powdered sugar to give it a fondant-like feel.  Make sure you have an extra box of powered sugar lying around just in case.  This recipe actually supplied enough fondant to cover a double batch of sugar cookies.

When I felt it was at the right consistency, I wrapped it up in parchment paper and put it in the refrigerator.

parchment

My next step was to make butter cream frosting  You can make any kind you want for this.  You’re going to use it to stick the fondant to the cookies.
buttercream
I took the fondant out of the refrigerator, ignored letting it get to room temperature, divided it into three balls and started to mix colors into each of the balls.  I made one pink (Rosa gel coloring), one red (with red gel coloring), and the final one was a tie dye look.  To achieve the tie die appearance, flatten out a ball of the fondant and drag a toothpick with the gel color onto the fondant in straight lines (don’t get picky about this because it really isn’t that important).  Then, fold the fondant over, flatten, fold, flatten, and repeat until you achieve the appearance you want.  Oh…and use some sort of latex (not if you’re allergic) gloves because you’ll be running around with some strange looking hands if you refuse to do so…not that I know anything about this due to personal experience…

Dust your workspace and rolling pin with powdered sugar. Roll out a ball of your colored fondant.  Roll it thin enough to lay on your cookie without breaking. Cut out the fondant with the same cookie cutter you used to cut out your cookies.  Now, let the fun begin!

The best method at this point is to gently spread some buttercream onto the back of the fondant you cut out.  Lay it on top of your cookie, and gently spread it down with your fingers. When your cookies are complete, dip a paper towel into some warm water, and gently rub off excess powdered sugar off the fondant.  Change paper towels if you’re going from one color fondant to another. This will actually give your cookie a shiny look when it dries.

If you want, you can add other decorations to your cookies, and add things such as polka dots, stripes, etc. Let your imagination go wild!  When you are done, leave them to dry overnight, and you’ll discover that your fondant dried hard enough to stack the cookies.

As for me, I quit at this point:
cookiesfront
Don’t judge me.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! 

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11 thoughts on “Valentine Sugar Cookies – A Labor of Love

  1. These look great-love your blog!

  2. Donna, these turned out beautiful! I love the marshmallow fondant, I’d never heard of that, but it sounds so much better than regular fondant. Your girls are really lucky to have you, I sent in Little Debbie pink heart shaped cakes, lol Happy Valentines Day!

    1. admin

      I seriously laughed out loud at this…
      Who doesn’t like Little Debbie???? 🙂 I never thought to do that, but I know what I’ll do next time I’m in a pinch.

  3. Perri Pender

    These did turn out great! The story is funny too, keep your posts coming, enjoy them

  4. Glenna

    Very nice presentation and such work and love put into the project!

    With Easter coming up I thought I would share my cookie recipe although I didn’t put that much effort into my cookies. I like the following recipe as the almond flavoring really enhances the sugar cookies.
    My favorite sugar cookies:
    1 C white sugar
    1/2 C oleo
    1/2 C crisco
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp almond flavor
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 1/2 C flour
    2 T milk

    Combine first seven ingredients and mix until creamy. Add flour and milk. Stirring well. I then separated the dough into smaller quantities, added food coloring to the dough. Press down on cookie sheet or roll and cut out egg shaped/oval cookies that can be decorated with sprinkles or goodies as noted below. Place Easter grass on a platter and arrange the “Easter egg colored cookies” on the grass. (You may decorate with ground nuts, coconut, candied cherries, stripes of frosting or top with a sprinkle of white sugar or sprinkles.)

    Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes.

    1. Donna

      Glenna,
      Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! I’m always on a quest for those well loved recipes, and you truly are inspiring me.

      1. Glenna

        YVW, I will be interested in hearing how you like the almond flavoring or seeing what you come up with. Happy baking!

        1. Donna

          Anything with almond in it gets 5 stars from me!

  5. Love the cookies Donna. You did a great job! I’ve never heard of marshmallow fondant before but I want to try it. Am loving your blog!

    Nann

    1. Donna

      The marshmallow fondant was great. I mean, it was STICKY when I started mixing the powdered sugar in, but it was easy for me to tell when it was the right consistency, and, even though it might not be exactly like store fondant, I think the children really appreciated the taste over store bought. I was surprised how far one batch went.

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