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Sweetheart Sugar Cookies

Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Hands-on time 30 mins
Other time 1 hr, 15 mins
Yield Makes about 3 dozen
Show your sweetheart your love year-round with these cute cookies. Slip one in a child's lunchbox, beside a spouse's morning coffee, or to a much-appreciated friend. Nothing says "You're Loved!" like a heart-shaped sugar cookie.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons meringue powder
  • Pink sanding sugar

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg, beating until blended.

  2. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until blended.

  3. Divide dough into 2 equal portions; flatten each portion into a disk. Cover and chill 10 minutes.

  4. Place 1 dough disk on a heavily floured surface, and roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a 3-inch heart-shaped cutter. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Repeat procedure with remaining dough disk.

  5. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets 5 minutes; transfer to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 30 minutes).

  6. Whisk together meringue powder and 2 Tbsp. water. Brush cookies with mixture, or dip cookies in mixture, and sprinkle with sanding sugar.

  7. For jumbo cookies: Cut rolled-out dough with a 4 1/2-inch heart-shaped cutter. Bake at 350° for 15 to 17 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Makes: about 1 dozen.

  8. For bite-size cookies: Cut rolled-out dough with a 1-inch heart-shaped cutter. Bake at 350° for 8 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Makes: about 20 dozen.

Cook's Notes

You may need to prepare additional meringue powder-and-water mixture as you decorate cookies. Sanding sugar may also be called "fine" sugar.