Instead of spending a small fortune on flowers or store-bought chocolates this Valentine’s Day – or skipping the occasion completely – why not bestow the gift of homemade treats on your loved ones? Williams-Sonoma has the most wonderful collection of Valentine’s themed baking tools and accessories, which you’ll use year after year, and not only in February.
These sweetly styled cookies needn’t be reserved for romantic love, either. Share them with the kids, your friends, neighbours and colleagues. Everyone will love the sentiment, and nothing tastes better than home-baked biscuits!
How’s that for the Valentine’s gift that keeps giving?
- 2/3 cup (155 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (125 g) caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 cup (280 g) plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Royal icing for decorating (recipe below), optional
Preheat the oven to 200C. Have ready 2 ungreased baking trays.
In a food processor or electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and pulse until creamy. Add the egg and pulse until fluffy and blended. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the food processor and process until blended, about 45 seconds. Add the remaining flour in two batches, processing after each addition until the dough is smooth.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, shape into a ball, and then roll out to about 5mm thick. (A good tip here is to cover your work bench with baking paper or parchment before flouring to help lift the rolled cookies onto trays. It will also make clean-up easier.)
Using your chosen cookie cutters, cut the dough into desired shapes. Then, using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the baking trays. Gather up the dough scraps, form into a ball, roll out and cut more shapes, and add to the baking trays.
Bake until lightly browned on the bottom and pale golden on top, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes, and then transfer to the racks to cool completely.
Decorate the cooled cookies with royal icing. Makes about 36 cookies.
- 2 large egg whites
- 500 g icing sugar, or more if needed
- 1 tsp water or lemon juice, if needed
- Food colouring (optional)
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the eggwhites and 500g icing sugar until stiff enough to spread, about 10 minutes. If the icing is too stiff, beat in 1 teaspoon water or lemon juice. If it is too thin, continue beating for 2-3 minutes longer, or beat in another 1/4 cup (30 g) icing sugar. Use immediately before the icing starts to thicken. Royal icing will dry hard on cookies. Makes 1 cup.
To make different coloured icings, divide the icing among several bowls and add food colouring as desired. (Start with just a drop of food colouring, mix it in, check the colour and add more, drop by drop, until you reach your desired shade. A single drop can go a long way.) Using a knife or spatula, spread the icing on cookies. Alternatively, use a piping bag to highlight the details of stamped cookies. You could also decorate with sprinkles and sanding sugar before the icing dries.
–Love to bake? See Williams-Sonoma’s exclusive collection of bakeware and tools at williams-sonoma.com.au