I love all holidays, and every year, I try to make something special to give to my male friends and colleagues for St. Valentine's Day.
This year, I was able to take some time from my very busy schedule to bake and decorate dozens of heart-shaped cookies. I made them at our headquarters in New York City's historic Starrett Lehigh Building, where we have an expansive and well-stocked test kitchen. I had so much fun, and even recorded a short video you may have already seen on my Instagram page @MarthaStewart48 - do you follow me? I included the video below, along with some of my photos - enjoy.
And, bake some cookies this weekend - your friends and family will love them!
I was at the office the day before Valentine’s Day, and decided to roll and cut the dough, and bake some cookies. It’s become an annual tradition – if you recall, I did the same last year.
I used my Sugar Cookies I recipe from “The Martha Stewart Cookbook: Collected Recipes for Everyday” – I am sure many of you have a copy, but if not, you can still find it. It has so many wonderful recipes and tips. goo.gl/gvq8n0
The recipe is among my favorites, and makes approximately two-dozen cookies.
I made several batches – dozens and dozens of cookies in various sizes.
The recipe calls for 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 pound butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons brandy, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
All the dry ingredients were sifted. And then, in an electric mixer, the butter and sugar were combined and the egg, brandy and vanilla added.
The dry ingredients were added to to the mixture until well-blended. Once the doughs were made, they were wrapped and chilled for at least 30-minutes. The doughs get really hard, but they roll out beautifully.
The cookies were about 1/8-inch thick, and baked at 400-degrees Fahrenheit for 10-minutes.
I used royal icing made from confectioner’s sugar, meringue from my own egg whites, food coloring, and water, and then hand-dipped each cookie very carefully.
I dipped just the top of the cookie, so each one looks smooth and perfect.
The frosting has to be exactly the right consistency to dip the cookies satisfactorily.
I made large and small cookies – I love how all of them look on this drying rack.
I have such a busy daily schedule filled with meetings – it was such a treat for me to make all these cookies myself. I love baking, especially when I can create fun holiday cookies for those near and dear.
The largest cookie was about five and 3/4-inches wide.
For decorations, I used words, dragees or different sanding sugars. For some I used a toothpick to create designs.
Some have decorative borders and others have simple dots piped around the perimeter – it really dresses up the cookies.
I decorated with more dots on these cookies. Nearly every one was different.
Of course, I made Jude and Truman each a large cookie with their name.
I decided to style some of my cookies for photos – here is a single, large “love” cookie on plate.
And a variety of smaller cookies stacked on top of each other.
I placed Jude’s cookie and Truman’s cookie on a platter for this photo.
I love this photo of the cookies on top of containers of sanding sugar.
I used cellophane bags to package my cookies.
Cellophane bags are so versatile, and they look so pretty.
Valentine’s Day 2017 may be over, but these sugary classics are great any time of year. I hope you take some time to bake some cookies for your loved ones this weekend!