Secret Valentine Cookie Exchange

The French Fridays with Dorie gang had a Secret Valentine Cookie Exchange (thanks Alice for setting this up!).  We were each assigned a Valentine and we made cookies for them!

My cookies came all the way from Australia!  My Secret Valentine was Gaye from Laws of the Kitchen.  Here is the package, which arrived today:

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Gaye packed my cookies very well:

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Each pair of cookies was wrapped in parchment paper, then placed in a plastic bag, and then finally wrapped in bubble wrap.  The cookies traveled extremely well, without a single crumb out of place.

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Aren’t these cookies gorgeous?  They taste as good as they look!

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The card is beautiful too (did you make it?).  Thank you so much Gaye!

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I was the Secret Valentine for Adriana at Great Food 360°.  Check out her site to see what I sent her.

Here is the recipe for the cookies I received:

Basic Sugar Cookies

  • 200 g / 7 oz / ½ cup = 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 400 g / 14 oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All-Purpose flour, sifted
  • 200 g / 7 oz / 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Beat until just becoming creamy in texture (Tip: Don’t over mix or the cookies will spread during baking).

Beat in the egg until well combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non-sticky dough forms.

Knead the dough into a ball and divide it into 2 or 3 pieces.  Roll out each portion between sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of about 5 mm (or .2 inch).  Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.  (Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in plastic wrap and then refrigerate it for an hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker).

Once chilled, peel off the parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.  Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.  Arrange the shapes on parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30 minutes to an hour. It’s very important to chill them again, otherwise they will spread while baking.

Re-roll the scraps and repeat the process until the dough is used up.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Bake cookies until golden around the edges, about 8 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies.

Cool cookies completely on cooling racks.  Once cooled, decorate as desired.

Makes approx. 36 cookies

Royal Icing

  • 315-375 g / 11-13 oz / 2½ – 3 cups Confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp almond extract, optional

Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.  Sift the Confectioner’s sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites.  Beat on low until combined and smooth.  Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.

Tip:  Start with the lesser amount of confectioner’s sugar and add more until the desired consistency is reached.  The lesser amount is good for a flooding consistency, and the larger amount is good for outlining.

Tip:  Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air, so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.

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9 Comments

Filed under Cooking

9 responses to “Secret Valentine Cookie Exchange

  1. Oh wow! It must have been exciting to get a package from Australia. I love a great sugar cookie and admire people who have the patience and skills to work with royal icing. I hope you enjoyed your cookies as much as I did mine. 🙂

  2. What a beautiful surprise! So glad the cookies held up well, too! 🙂

  3. That’s exciting, receiving cookies from Australia. Now, Gaye knows her way around packaging cookies. My own mom always baked sugar cookie hearts for Valentines Day. She sprinkled sugar on them but never frosted them. Oh, they were delicious. When I made them for my kids, I frosted them but I never was as creative as Gaye. Enjoy those little sugar wonders.

  4. What beautiful cookies. Love the card:). Hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

  5. Awww – such sweet cookies and how exciting to get them from Australia. What a fun exchange this was…

  6. How appropriate to get heart-shaped cookies! They look delicious. And yours must have traveled the farthest. I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

  7. Just gorgeous! And I love the cross-stitch. How very thoughtful!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  8. Yay! I got an email from Alice saying that they hadn’t arrived, and I was worried. So glad that they arrived safely. And yes, I made the card. So happy you liked the cookies. Happy belated Valentines Day!

  9. Oh Karen, What a sweet Valentine’s treat to get a box of cookies all the way from Australia!! The cookies and the card are lovely! I so enjoyed this cookie exchange! My Valentine was Adriana….loved her guava cookies!

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