These fun cookies are perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day you want to show some love. The sugar cookie is lightly flavored with almond and vanilla and is a very easy to work with cookie dough that is perfect for cut out cookies of any type.
1 stick (1⁄2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Whites from 2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Assorted liquid or paste food coloring
Water as needed
Cookie cutters, disposable pastry bags, plain tips for writing
- Beat butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium and add egg; beat until combined. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla and almond extracts. Reduce speed to low and slowly beat in flour just until blended.
- Place dough on a sheet of waxed paper and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Roll out 1/2 of the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to 1⁄4 inch thickness. Remove top layer of wax paper and cut out heart shapes using large and small heart shaped cookie cutters. Reroll scraps. Arrange 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are very light golden around edges. Let cool on pan on wire rack 2 minutes then remove from pan to rack and cool completely.
- Beat egg whites and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium-high speed until very thick and white, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap.
- To decorate cookies: Remove icing to separate small bowls. Leave 1 bowl white (for writing) and color the remaining as desired by stirring in food coloring.
- Thin the colored icing with a few drops of water to make it more easily spreadable.
- Frost top of cookies using a small offset spatula. If icing isn’t flowing easily over cookie, thin it with more water.
- Let cookies stand until icing sets, about 1 hour.
- Transfer white icing to a disposable pastry bag fitted with a plain # 6 tip. (You may have to thin the icing with a bit with water. It needs to be thin enough to easily pipe, but thick enough for letters to hold their shape.) Pipe messages on cookies as desired. Let stand until completely dry.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. Both dough and icing cake be made several days ahead, covered tightly and refrigerated.