Whether it’s a card from your niece or sibling, a box of conversation hearts or a fluffy teddy bear, any nice gesture makes a person’s day…especially on Valentine’s Day. Yeah, yeah, so it’s an over commercialized holiday. So what? You don’t have to empty your wallet to make someone feel special.
My mother loves baking cookies and pastries for the elderly people in our neighborhood. She chooses a different flavor each year and has the little ones decorate them with sugar, frosting and colorful sprinkles. The presentation is a huge part of the deal. She either uses hot pink cellophane to cover a Valentine Themed Plate or she arranges them nicely in a themed cookie box.
Vanilla Bean Hearts
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg white
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
- In a medium size bowl, scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the confectioners’ sugar. Add the pod, cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight.
- Remove the pod from the confectioners’ sugar and discard. Using an electric mixer, beat the confectioners’ sugar and butter at high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, baking soda and salt at medium speed. Beat in the whole egg. Mix in the flour at low speed, scraping down the bowl. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into disks and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, roll out one disk to a 1/4-inch-thick round. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the cookies; using a metal spatula, transfer to the cookie sheets and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375°. Beat the egg white with a fork and brush lightly on the cookies; sprinkle generously with granulated sugar. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes; let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring with a metal spatula to racks; let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining disk of dough
- Have fun decorating and distributing to your loved ones.
Recipe from www.rachaelraymag.com. Don’t forget to shop our Valentine’s Day Party Supplies.