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Simply Love

Contest Photo by: bbabs777
Arroyo Grande,, CA
Category: Sweet Treats

Description

A buttery heart-shaped sugar cookie, with simple but elegant decorations.

Ingredients

The Cookie:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
heart shaped cookie cutter
The Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 cup half & half, milk, or canned milk
water to thin
1 tube pre-made red or pink frosting and plain round writing tip

How to Make

  • For cookies:
    Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cookie ingredients in the order listed. Add flour to form a stiff dough. (The amount of flour may vary slightly, but dough should be niether overly sticky, nor crumbly.) Refridgerate dough for 30 to 60 minutes to make for easier handling.
    Roll half the dough on lightly floured surface to aproximately 1/4 inch thickness. Cut dough using heart shaped cookie cutter, keeping cuts as close to each other as possible without overlapping. Place hearts on cookie sheet with a spatula. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Remove cookies to rack to cool.
    Carefully gather up any remaining dough from the first cutting, gently patting to remove any excess flour. Combine the cuttings with the remaining dough and roll out repeating the same process as above until all dough is baked.

  • Frosting:
    Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and half & half or milk in medium microwavable bowl or glass measuring cup. Stir slightly just to partially combine ingredients. Microwave in 10 second incraments stiring between each, until frosting is smooth and very warm. DO NOT BOIL. Frosting should be about the consistancy of a creamy soup. To keep frosting warm while applying to cookies, place bowl of frosting in a pan of hot, not boiling water.

  • Decorating:
    Using a spatula or spreading knife, hold cookies over warm frosting and apply frosting liberally to cookie, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Gently scrape bottom edge of cookie to remove excess frosting, place back onto cooling rack and repeat with remaining cookies. If frosting begins to stiffen before you finish, thin with water adding 1 teaspoon at a time. Allow frosting to set at least one hour to overnight. Decorate each cookie with a small heart and/or dots using tube of red or pink frosting. Allow to dry before stacking or packing. Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.

  • Tips for Taking a Great Photo:
    • Avoid clutter. Keep the background simple -- your cupcake or sweet treat is the star!
    • Daytime, natural light is best. If your area is bright enough, try taking the photo without the flash.
    • Upload a horizontal photo. If you crop the image on your computer, make sure you keep a landscape 4:3 aspect ratio.
    • For best results, make your image 1200x900 (or "save for web").
    • With a digital camera, you can take as many photos as possible and choose the best one. Have fun!