I tutor two Thai sisters “every” Sunday (that I’m not traveling or they’re not taking one of their endless streams of tests to ensure they make it into the best schools like the rest of their family). I try to incorporate fun things like movies and baking into our lessons, because it tends to be a bit easier for me (from a planning perspective) and more enjoyable for them. I’d made promises of Christmas cookies at, well, Christmas time but our erratic schedules made it so that we went about six weeks in the December-January time with no class and thus Christmas cookie plans fell to the wayside.
Then Valentine’s Day started creeping up and I decided ol’ Pim and JupJeep might get their sugar fix after all. The problem was that the cookies I had made for Christmas weren’t… great. But this wasn’t actually too much of a problem at all because when in doubt there’s always Martha. For these simple sugar cookies I followed this Martha Stewart recipe pretty much exactly (less the newfangled “electric mixer” and “paddle attachment” tomfoolery, as reflected in my dumbed-down-for-non-native-English-speaker instructions)– who could turn down a recipe with “Ideal” right there in the title?!– but I did use the icing recipe that went on the Christmas cookies. For some reason it seemed to work better in my first attempt than this one… perhaps I let my butter soften a little too much, but it was very runny and quite messy with an eleven and an eight-year-old doing the application. But they tasted nice (as my lucky students will tell you… cookies are a good instrument with which to teach polite requests!).
Alright since I know you’re dying for the recipe here goes:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter [I’m actually pretty sure I used salted butter.]
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting ingredients: (This makes so much frosting… it was plenty for two batches of cookies.)
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk (start with two, add more if frosting becomes too thick)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: (Again, as intended for Thai children to read.)
1. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. In another bowl mix butter and sugar; stir until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; mix until well combined. Add flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
2. Place dough on a table. Shape into 2 discs and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (345 degrees Fahrenheit). Grease baking sheets; set aside.
4. On a lightly floured table, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into hearts, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
5. Combine ingredients for frosting until smooth. If too thick, add more milk. Cover cooled cookies with frosting.
Hope you like ’em! Happy Valentine’s Day!