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Heart Sugar Cookie with Royal Icing
Note for those with sensitivities: The icing uses raw egg whites. Substitute another frosting recipe if desired.
For the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide dough in half, wrap each half with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a floured heart-shaped cookie cutter, and transfer cookies to the prepared baking tray. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Repeat with the other section of chilled dough. Group the scraps into a ball, refrigerate and use it to make additional cookies.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time.
Remove from oven and let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the royal icing:
Put the egg whites and lemon juice into a mixing bowl. Using your whisk attachment of a stand or handheld mixer beat to combine the egg whites and lemon juice. Add sifted sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. Add more sugar or water to get the right spreading consistency.
Divide icing equally into small bowls, depending on the number of colors you want to make. Add coloring paste into each bowl, a drop at a time until you get the right color. Use the icing immediately, or cover with plastic wrap as it hardens when exposed to air.
Frost cooled cookies with royal icing. Let the royal icing dry completely before storing. This may take several hours or overnight.
This time of year, we are all looking for that perfect cookie recipe that will get Santa to leave a gift for even the naughtiest of people. These cookies might just be them. The simple, no fail base can be customized to whatever candies or chip combination you desire. I have made these for years and have never been disappointed.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!