Once I knew what to do…..
Ever since I started seeing these cookies on Pinterest I knew I wanted to make them. I loved the idea of riffing on the bark I made a few years back, but even better because…..cookies!
Like my monster cookies, I decided on a crinkle cookie dough, because I wanted a cookie that was soft enough to press the candy heart into. That lemon version was delish, but I switched it up here – making it double vanilla.
I read a few posts before getting started, but they were not overly “specific” – leading me to believe that this was a straightforward recipe. Which it was, kind of. Here’s a sample from my first batch:
As you can see, the colors are kind of muddy, and the confectioner’s sugar left a white-ish coating on many of the cookies, that – while not objectionable on the monster cookies – bothered me here. I was also not pleased with the “land-to-water” ratio – I wanted them to look more…………..earth-like.
So I made another batch – with a bunch of tweaks. I was a bit more “specific”, but I think the results were worth it. Will you let me know?
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 scraped vanilla bean (read this post on what do do with the scraped pod, and my favorite way to store those beans!)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
food coloring (I prefer the gel to the liquid – the colors are more vibrant and the gel doesn’t affect the texture of the dough – for this recipe I used Wilton “Leaf Green” and “Royal Blue”)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the butter and 1 cup granulated sugar till light and fluffy; scrape down the sides. Add the egg, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and beat again; scrape down the sides. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat again till ingredients are well combined. Remove 1/2 of the dough.
Add the green food coloring to the dough in the mixer and beat till the color is incorporated, adding more if needed till the desired shade is reached. You want the color to be vibrant, but light, so that it contrasts with the blue when the cookies are baked. Repeat with the reserved dough and food coloring.
Place 1/4 – 1/2 cup granulated sugar into a small bowl.
Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop out the dough onto one of your baking sheets – you should have 12 – 14 scoops of each color. Divide each scoop in half, for a total of 24 – 28 pieces of dough.
Working with one piece of dough in each color, divide each into 2 – 3 small pieces, then gather them together and gently roll into a ball. Don’t overwork so that the colors stay distinct. Roll in the granulated sugar and place on the other baking sheet, making sure that the prettiest side is facing up. Repeat with remaining dough, for a total of 24 – 28 cookies. Bake for 8 minutes, or till just turning crinkly on top.
Remove baking sheets from the oven and place on wire racks. Working quickly, place one candy heart on top of each cookie, pressing gently to adhere. Let the cookies cool on the tray for 5 more minutes, then transfer to the wire racks to cool completely.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver