Valentines, Sugar Cookies and Babysitting

I wouldn’t be seeing the kids that I babysit on Valentines Day, so I decided to do it a bit early. The idea started at Target, and really, don’t most great ideas start there? In their Dollar Spot, they had these cute scratch ‘n’ sniff puzzles for Valentines day. The kids love puzzles so I grabbed one!

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As I walked around, part II came to mind- “I should make sugar cookies with the kids!” So heart-shaped cookie cutters, hot pink vanilla frosting and some Valentines Day themed sprinkles were all juggled to the counter. After purchasing everything I asked Mom if this activity was pre-approved. She was ALL FOR IT!

The kids had all had their Valentines Day parties at school on Wednesday since they don’t have school Thursday/Friday this week so they were all hyped up on the holiday spirit! After Mom left for class, I dumped the puzzle out on the island. Because I am evil, I would not let them look at the box, it would have given away the surprise! They had to complete the puzzle to know what the surprise activity for the night was!!!

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By the end of the puzzle we’d lost one….he was hiding near by!

While the kids ate dinner, I pre-measured out all of the ingredients so that they could help me dump!

Sugar Cookie Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 cup sugar

2 sticks room temp/softened butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cold water

*Pre-heat the oven to 350

1. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar. I had one of the kids sift the flour/salt/baking powder at this time.

2. Add in 1 egg and vanilla until well mixed.

3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. This is a very dry/crumbly dough and it will be in lots of little crumbly pieces.

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4. Slowly add some water until it starts to form a better ball.

5. Dump on a lightly floured surface, you might want to wet your hands to knead/work the dough a bit. I split the dough into 4 small balls, lightly floured the surface for the kids, rolled out the dough and let them go to down with the cookie cutters.

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6. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes. I found that 7 minutes was perfect.

While the cookies were baking/cooling I prepped our decorating area. Using their kiddie divided dinner plates, I poured in the different sprinkles for them. Each kid also got a small bowl of hot pink frosting and baby spoon to frost their creations.

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We had a great evening of (early) Valentines Day fun, food and decorating! Because nothing says I Love You like a giant heart cookie smothered in frosting with half a pound of sprinkles and candy hearts! ❤

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Best Snickerdoodle/Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER

This is the best snickerdoodle/sugar cookie recipe I have EVER found. They are soo fluffy, and soft. Though an avid baker I have a tendency to fail at cookies. I believe the only reason these turned out so well is because my boyfriend Eric helped make them…and instead of an electric mixer, we did it all by hand. But they were well worth the effort, they didn’t last very long.

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
sugar (topping)
cinnamon (topping)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Mix butter, sugar, and eggs.

3. Blend in flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.

4. Chill dough in fridge for at least 30 min. This will make balling the dough much easier. Shape dough into balls with your hands (great time to get the kids or significant others involved)

5. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl. Some like a lot of cinnamon, some like a little. Make it how YOU want. Roll each dough ball in cinnamon sugar mixture.

6. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. THIS IS IMPORTANT! They do fluff up and expand. I forgot this and ended up with snowmen and gingermen blobs when I used this recipe as a sugar cookie dough..

7. Bake 8-10 minutes until just golden. The longer they bake the crunchier they will be. Remove from baking sheet. Eating them warm is obviously the best, but if you’re not eating them right away definitely store in an air tight container to keep them nice and soft!

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