Recipe: Vanilla Cookies with a Cinnamon Kiss

These are a gorgeous, not-too-sweet cookie. Sparkly with sanding sugar, subtly hot with candy hearts, sweet with vanilla icing. They are like that perfect kiss.

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Vanilla buttercream filling

  • 3 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar1 teaspoon vanilla
  • about 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons milk

Decoration and Icing

  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 jar red or pink sanding sugar (or a mix of red and white)
  • heart-shaped candies and/or sweet-heart candies

 

Directions:

  1. In a bowl with your fingers, whirl or rub flour and butter until mixture forms pea-sized lumps. Add cream and stir with a fork until dough holds together.
  2. Pat dough into a ball, then divide in half. Flatten each portion into a 5-inch-wide disk. Wrap airtight and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle work surface with 6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar. Dust rolling pin with 2 tablespoons sugar. Roll dough on sugar, one disk at a time, to 1/8 inch thick, turning over frequently and dusting with more sugar if needed to prevent it sticking. Cut out cookies with a 4-inch heart cutter. Gather excess dough into a ball, re-roll (adding sugar when/if necessary) and cut out remaining cookies.
  4. Place cookies ½ inch apart on buttered and floured or parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking trays. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes prior to baking.
  5. Bake cookies in a 315 F oven until golden, about 15 – 20 minutes, switching trays halfway through baking. Allow cookies to cool slightly on trays and then transfer to racks to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, make filling: in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter with powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough milk to make mixture smooth and thick enough to spread.
  7. Spread one side of half the cookies with vanilla buttercream filling. Top with remaining cookies.
  8. Make topping: Combine icing sugar, butter, cinnamon sugar, vanilla and milk, beating until creamy. Thin with a few more drops of milk (if necessary) to reach spreading consistency.
  9. Ice tops of cookies and before icing hardens, decorate tops with a dusting of pink and white
    sanding sugars and candy hearts or sweet-heart candies.

After-Thoughts:

Cinnamon. Vanilla. Combine them with the sweetness and smooth texture of icing, between two deliciously crunchy cookies. One bite and I guarantee you’ll be wanting more.

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