Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's raining. Again. And cold. Bitter cold. I prayed for cold weather for this weekend, but I never intended the rain to come with it.  C'est la vie. On another note, the rain is supposed to pass by Sunday and just leave the cold, so hooray! Perfect marathon running weather-just like I asked for it.  I decided to post my Valentine's recipe today since I thought I might not have the time to post anything on Sunday, mainly because I'm spending the first part of the day running copious amounts of miles (26.2 to be exact), the next part eating to refuel myself after copious amounts of miles, the next part icing and resting my legs after putting them through copious amounts of miles, and the last half sleeping.

First off though, I want to rewrite my review of the Buffalo Chicken dip I made last week.  I didn't think too highly of the dip last week whenever I was trying it and so didn't recommend it.  I was wrong.  I decided to give the dip another try a few days later and I really like it.  It's slightly addicting actually, which is exactly how Christy describes it in her blog. Here's why I think I didn't enjoy it last weekend. First, the night I made it, I had just eaten a huge pizza dinner and wasn't really hungry, so didn't take very big bites of it to taste.  The next day, I hadn't bought tortilla chips to eat with it yet (planning to buy them on the way to the Superbowl party), so all I had were little half-chip-crumbs of some flavored Hatch green chili chips---the flavors did not combine very well, and once again, didn't take big enough bites.  Had I really tried it with a nice big tortilla chip, I would have loved it.  It's salty, spicy, and cheesy, all on top of a nice crispy chip.  I still think I would sub rotisserie chicken in for the canned chicken, but that's just a texture preference. Otherwise-yum.

Now, on to my Valentine's day treats.  My friend Ellie's mom gave me this sugar cookie recipe years ago.  I believe 14 years, to be exact, when we made dozens of these sugar cookies for my little brother's baptism party.  The cookies are delicious and really fun to decorate with a glaze rather than a frosting.  My mom and I tend to make this recipe for every occasion...Valentine's Day=hearts, Fall=pumpkins, leaves, and a moose (yes, a moose), Christmas=Christmas trees, reindeer, angels, santas, Easter=eggs, ducks, and bunnies, get the idea.  It's just an all around good recipe and the cookies smell amazing while they're baking---I think it's the almond extract.
Do you ever decide to decorate cookies, then get halfway through it and decide you don't want to decorate them anymore because you're sick of them?  That's how I am.  Here's how my cooking day goes: I get the dough made (eat dough while making).  Let it firm up in the refrigerator (eat other food to get sweet taste out of mouth).  Roll the dough out (eat scraps of dough). Bake cookies.  Try baked cookies.  Make icing. Decorate cookies. Eat broken cookies while icing. Feel sick. Never want to eat another cookie again (at least for a few hours until I've had real food). Truth be told, I always eat another cookie, and these cookies are actually better the next day when the glaze has really set.
 The first time someone showed me how to made the pretty designs in the cookies, I was floored. It's really that simple to make cookies look semi-professional?  That was the last time I ever spent $5 on a decorated cookie from a bakery.  For the streaky looking ones, you just drizzle flat lines of a different color of icing across a freshly glazed cookie, then take a toothpick and run it vertically down the cookie all the way across.  Voila! The others I just did swirls and zig-zag lines.  Even if they don't look perfect individually, on a plate all together they look really neat.
I decorated these cookies with my younger sister today and after I had enough of decorating with the glaze, I switched to the vanilla jar icing with her.  With the scraps of dough, I had used my new shark cookie cutter (random fact about me: I love sharks!) to make two cookies to incorporate somehow into my Valentine's treats.  Somehow I ended up with a make-shift family tree with two love sharks in the middle.  :)
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sugar Cookies
1 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk (or orange juice)
2 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar together and add egg, vanilla, almond, and milk.  Add dry ingredients. Dough should be very soft.  Refrigerate in Saran wrap for at least 2 hours.  Roll out on floured surface and cut into shapes.
Bake at 325 degrees for 8-12 minutes (depending on the thickness of the cookie. Let cool before icing.

1 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 c warm water
1/4 tsp almond extract (or flavoring of your choice)
3 c powdered sugar
Dissolve syrup in water, add extract and powdered sugar.  Mix until smooth. Add food coloring if desired.

Side note:  I always make at least a double batch for a couple dozen cookies.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful cookies!!! I didn't know you had a blog. I love it!!! And awesome run yesterday!! Way to go!!!