Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We *heart* Cookies!

Welcome to Part 2 of our Whimsical Tea Party recipes.

I'm kind of picky about cookies. It's hard to find the right balance between hard and soft - and then there's the matter of how sweet they should be, given that you're probably going to top them with ultra-sweet goodies anyway....etc. etc.

This is Nigella Lawson's no-fail recipe. I use it for Christmas cookies too - it's so easy to make and stays in great shape when cut.

You can see the original recipe post, courtesy of the Food Network here.

Queen of Hearts Cookies



    * 6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
    * 1/2 cup sugar
    * 1 large egg
    * 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    * 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt


    * Wiltons candy melts (red).


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards moussiness, then beat in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough. Form into a fat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place disk of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut into heart shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on 2 parchment or silpat lined baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes. When they're ready expect them to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they'll be softish still in the middle, but set while they cool.

Remove the cookies with a flat, preferably flexible, spatula to a wire rack.

Melt half a packet of candy melts (as per directions for cake pops), and with the back of a teaspoon, or a clean (unused!) paintbrush, "paint" the melts onto the cooled cookies so they smoothly cover the surface. Decorate as desired, or leave as is!

Warning - these are really moreish. The kids grabbed handfuls of these as they left the party to put in their lolly bags - and I still have heaps in the fridge (despite the fact that I simply just can't just take one at a time!). Enjoy!

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