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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Soft, Fluffy Sugar Cookies

Yes, I already have a sugar cookie recipe. See HERE. No, they are not the same. Why? Because my brother is a prickly cactus.  The goober graduated high school and his party is this weekend.

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My last first day, senior year of high school, his first day of freshman year and then obviously his graduation. 🙂

He requested sugar cookies like you buy at the grocery store with that super sugary awesome frosting. Mom was going to buy them but OF COURSE I couldn’t let that happen. In true Anna fashion I looked up about 8 different soft, fluffy sugar cookie recipes, looked at the similarities and differences and went for it. I created my own kinda recipe. So far this method hasn’t failed me yet. These were super easy and at 9:30pm when I decided to make the dough so I could just make the cookies in the morning, I had all of the ingredients in the fridge and pantry to whip them up easily.

Ingredients-

2 sticks butter

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups of sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

Directions-

1. Cream butter, sugar, sour cream and vanilla

2. Add in 3 eggs

3. Slowly add in flour, baking powder and salt

4. Mix only until dry ingredients are combined. DO NOT OVER MIX! I have a tendency to want to whip everything up thinking it will make it extra fluffy when really it can make it tough and dense. These are supposed to be FLUFFY. Just mix until there are no more pockets of flour.

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5. Make a cross with two piece of intersecting plastic wrap. Plop the dough in the middle and wrap it.

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6. Let refrigerate over-night or at least an hour.

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Pre-heat oven to 350. You have one of two options here. You can roll out the dough 1/2 of and inch thick and use a round cookie cutter or glass to get your desired shape OR you can simple take a large scooper, and gently smoosh down a bit as I did below.

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*I wrote this post between the night I made the dough and the next day when I actually made the cookies. Something I totally didn’t think about that I’m now sharing as an easy tip. Form the dough into a log an inch or so in diameter and THEN wrap and refrigerate it. After it has chilled you can use a serrated knife to just cut medallions about half of an inch thick and plop them down! This takes away having to scoop and press down! It’s done for you already.*

Cook 11-12 minutes. You do not necessarily want the cookies to get brown. There is no brown sugar in the recipe, and the ones you see in the store aren’t brown around the edges are they? NO!

Remove and cool on cookie sheet. Once cool slather on that yummy frosting- recipe found below.

6-8 cups powdered sugar (based on desired viscosity, sweetness etc)

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 stick of butter

3-8 tablespoons milk/heavy whipping cream (based on desired viscosity)

Food coloring- optional

Sprinkles/Jimmies- Necessary

1. Cream butter with vanilla.

2. Slowly add powdered sugar. It will be really dry

3. Add milk/heavy whipping cream until the frosting is at your desired thickness

4. Add food coloring at this point if you so desire.

5. Whip the frosting until it is smooth and fluffy

6. With a small spatula or knife slather on a nice thick layer of frosting

7. Top with jimmies

This will make a lot of frosting, but this recipe makes a lot of cookies and you need to put a healthy amount on each cookie. All of that frosting is totally necessary.

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My brother’s favorite color is green so I dyed the frosting a nice light green as to not dye everyone’s mouths green as well. There is just a little bit of crunch from the bottom but the rest of the cookie is nice and soft.

This recipe yielded 4-5 dozen. There’s a bit of a discrepancy from taste testing the dough and eating a few as they finished. 😉