How to Bake easy Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie with kids
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
An amazing part of food photography is that I not only capture the food, but I also make the food- and, sometimes the food preparation is the most interesting part of a shoot. This year for Valentines day, I prepared Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing for a photoshoot, but I wasn’t preparing it alone.
I often choose to have my daughter to help with preparation and decoration of cookies, which are perfect for any holiday for a fun activity, and is always nice to get a different perspective on the (over)use of sprinkles.
However, before the fun part that is decorating, I have learned a couple tricks to perfect the art of the cookie in the baking process. I find it best to prepare the cookie dough early, and wrap it in plastic and aluminum foil and freeze it. I then take the dough out and put it into the fridge to defrost until I’m ready to bake.
Despite my best efforts to cut & bake the cookies with my daughter, she’s too often all done with the tediums of baking after the cookies get into the oven, so I tend to do this part alone & save her creative strengths for decoration. While preparing the cookies for baking, instead of a traditional rolling pin, I use an adjustable rolling pin to ensure the cookies are all evenly shaped and ready for easy baking & decoration. Cutting the cookies are also a creative endeavor, & I use many varying shapes, such as plain edge rectangle cutter to emulate love letters- despite the phrase ‘cookie-cutter’, it’s always nice to be creative and individual when baking. After cooling the cookies on a cookie cooling rack, they’re ready for the icing, and lots and lots of sprinkles.
My icing of choice is royal icing, which is easy to make & decorate with. I chose to use meringue powder instead of egg whites, to make the process simple and quick. Instead of using standard pastry bags for the icing, I, and my daughter, find it much easier to use squeeze bottles such as the Pinnacle Mercantile Easy Squeeze Bottles for more precise decorations and ease of use for little hands.
Before the final decorations begin, I always place down a large plastic table cover roll, to ensure that the mess isn’t too bad. With everything ready, the decorations begin, and my daughter engages in her artistic side, with sprinkles in one hand, and a bottle of pink icing in the other, though more icing will end up in her mouth than put onto the cookies.
Valentine's Day Recipes
Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- In medium bowl combine flour and salt.
- In a large bowl beat in the bowl with hand mixer butter and sugar until smooth
- Add vanilla extract and egg
- Add dry ingredients a little at a time. When dough will get stiff finish kneading with your wet hands.
- Chill dough 3 hours before rolling.
- Roll out on a lightly floured counter to 1/4" thick and cut with cookie cutters. Transfer cookies to cookie sheet with silicone liner.
- Before baking, place the baking sheet of cookie cutouts in the fridge and let chill for 5-10 minutes. This is so the cookies will keep their form and not spread out while baking.
- Bake about 8-10 minutes.
- Let cookies cool slightly on cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a large bowl combine confectioners' sugar and meringue powder.
- Add water, one spoon at a time. Add vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until mixture is shiny. Turn mixture to high speed and beat until 5-7 minutes. Add food coloring, if needed.
- Transfer icing to squeeze bottles. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.