Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentines Cookies

I tried making sugar cookies once back in high school and they were so awful that it has taken 26 years before I would attempt to try again. I still remember putting in all that effort to end up with wonky, saltly cardboard cookies that went straight from the oven into to trash. This time I was determined to find just the right recipe, meticulously measure everything and hope that my baking luck like myself had matured and mellowed. I found a great recipe for cream cheese sugar cookies over at Blonde Designs and a royal icing recipe at Martha Stewart that I modified by adding some lemon extract and fresh lemon zest. I prepared the dough a day in advance and let it chill overnight in the refrigerator then the next day while Tess was napping I proceeded to bake them until the edges were just barely brown. I saved the decorating for later that night after we put the little one to bed. Here are the final decorated cookies. I must say they turned out much better than my first attempt, so good in fact that I'm thinking of revisiting some other teenage disasters to see if some of those might have gotten better with age as well.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Handmade Valentines

Growing up I always remember loving Valentine's Day, it was always such a mystery over who who sent what card and who wrote what secret message. I always cherished the special cards, the ones that didn't look like the boxed cards that I always passed out. I never did make my own Valentines growing up, our house was not the most creative back in those days, I guess that's part of the reason why I now make such an effort to try and incorporate handmade into Tess' life. I still love Valentine's Day, not the store bought, gift required, obligatory token of affection but the sweet simple gestures of love that make me feel all warm and fuzzy. I wanted Tess to have a hand in the card making so I laid our several sheets of red construction paper and made a template so that she could apply her paint dipped finger in just the right place.

white finger paint
red construction paper
small envelopes
circle paper punch
ink pen with white ink