Happiness Project:#55: Happy Heart Cookies!


Love. Friendship. Happiness. Joy. Pain. Sadness. Life. For those of you who have been following my blog, from the very first recipe post, a little over 2 years ago, you’ve seen my Heart here. My Joys. My Life. My Struggle. For everything worth meaning. And you know of the importance I place upon being able to express all of these feelings & experiences. Because I believe in the power of sharing one’s Life and one’s Heart to those who will listen. No matter how shadowed or darkened that I may be. And it’s because of you, you who support and love me through it all, that I’ve journeyed to where I am today. It’s because of YOU that I am still here. In more ways than one. And it’s because of you that I know, truly know, of the immeasurable blessings within this beautiful little life of mine.

So for you, I am thankful. From every little piece of my heart. Thank you for letting me be, me. This Happy Heart Cookie recipe is for YOU ❤

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray a 9×10 inch glass baking dish. Then layer with parchment paper. Lightly coat (again) with (a butter & flour) spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and stir for a few minutes until nicely combined.

In another large bowl, on a stand mixer (or by hand held), beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on high until fully blended and creamy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Blend in the vanilla extract and continue mixing for 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the flour mixture, in two batches, until just combined.Then throw in those chocolate chips and stir em up!

Spoon out the cookie dough into the prepared dish and evenly spread out the entire dough with either a rubber spatula or the flat of your hands.

*I prefer to use my hands with most of my cookie recipes so that I can feel the dough between my fingers. There’s something uniquely therapeutic (and magical even) about working with cookie dough within ones hands, instead of with a spatula or rolling pin. And wonderfully, beautifully messy.

Once you’ve spread out and flatted the cookie dough in the baking dish, pop it into the oven and let bake for 20-25 minutes, depending upon how firm or slightly gooey you like a chocolate chip cookie’s center. Though when it comes to cookies, any cookies, there’s never really any right or wrong way to create the perfect cookie. Right? Right!

Let cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes before getting creative with your heart (or any other) shaped cookie cutters. When using your cookie cutters with this baked cookie, gently press the cutter into the giant cookie so that it doesn’t crumble or break. Gently extract each cut heart piece and serve! Or store in a favorite family cookie jar or fun container for up to 4 days.

To all of my Family, Friends and Followers, thank you for everything! ❤ ❤ ❤

Happiness Project #34: Messy Happy Hearts Sugar Cookies!


Valentines Day. A day of cards, flowers, chocolates and valentine cookies. In other words, a day filled to the brink with words, sweets and sometimes very quirky displays of endearment. A day that I don’t actually believe in. Yes, one that I do not believe in celebrating, at least as an adult. And no matter any of the many varied arguments in Valentines Day’s defense, my very grounded opinion of this day will not be swayed. Trust me on this. However, I DO believe that Valentine’s Day has much to offer (as well as many valuable lessons to impart) for school-age children. Sharing, especially when establishing core values in the lives of children, is caring, in the best of ways. So much to the bemused delight of those near & dear to me, I decided to whip up some Valentines Sugar Cookies this year. Something I have NEVER done before. Never. It must be the new mother in me pouring out, right? Which meant it was finally the appropriate time to pull out my quite hefty 40lb marble pastry board and little used but much loved rolling pin. As well as un-dusting one of the best sugar cookie recipes I have ever found. Think mid 1900’s. Needless to say, I was very excited. So for all of you cookie monsters out there or those of you who DO celebrate Valentine’s Day, here’s a little something yummy from m to you…

For the Sugar Cookies:

1 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature

1-1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat Mats.

In a stand mixture, cream the butter, sugar and eggs at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in each egg, one at a time, until well mixed. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, adding the heavy cream as needed, until throughly combined. This dough should be a stiff not soft texture. If it’s too soft to handle, cover and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

Break out that pastry board (marble is always preferred over wooden) and rolling pin. Quick tip, one of the most valuable things I learned while in Pastry School is that rolling pins are NOT all created equal. The most efficient rolling pin for cookie dough? The classic wooden pin with no handles.

Once the cookie dough is stiff enough to roll into a large ball, lightly flour your pastry board AND rolling pin (so the dough doesn’t stick to either surface while being rolled out). Roll out the dough to around 1/4 inch thick. Grab those heart cookie cutters and shape, shape away =)

Bake for 8-10 minutes and let cool on a wire rack while you’re creating the buttercream frosting.

For the Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract *clear vanilla extract if you want a white colored frosting*

3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

In a stand mixture, beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Drop the mixture speed down to a lower setting and sift in the powdered sugar until well incorporated with the creamed butter. Increase the mixer speed to a medium setting and add in the salt, vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream. Whip for 3-4 minutes until nicely thickened.

And now, FROST, with or without your favorite colored dye!!! And SPRINKLE!!! Sprinkle away!!!! That’s the whole fun of creating sugar cookies, after all, right? Especially if your little ones are helping you!

Happy Heart Day, my friends!

P.S. My Mom gifted me with a beautiful personalized cutting board (featured above) for my birthday this year! Jealous? Go to redenvelope.com for your own!

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