Love Sugar Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day! I love this month since it’s all about sweet treats & little love notes, celebrating our significant others and also our girlfriends. This year I was inspired to use my mom’s sugar cookie recipe to create something to gift to friends. Inspired by Jen’s LOVE prints and colorful paintings, these painted LOVE cookies send a sweet message to their lucky recipients. My favorite part of these sugar cookies is the lemon…the lemon rind and juice add a subtle citrus flavor that really kicks them up a notch. I ordered this set of alphabet cookie cutters to create my L-O-V-E. Another fun option would be to use X-O-X-O. The final touch: See-through boxes that ensure your painted cookies are perfectly packed for gifting to loved ones at Valentine’s Day.

Love Sugar Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
Food coloring

Cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla, lemon rind, then lemon juice. Add flour, soda and salt; mix until blended. Divide dough; wrap each half in plastic wrap and pat into a disc. Refrigerate several hours until firm. On a floured surface, roll one disc about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with letter-shaped cutters (ex. LOVE or XOXO). Transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated 325-degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until barely browned. Cool on wire racks and repeat with remaining dough. To decorate, stir 1 tablespoon of cream into 1 cup of powdered sugar. Divide among small bowls and use food coloring to make intense shades. Use a clean paint brush to paint the cookies with the icing, adding a little extra cream into the icing if needed to make it thinner. Wipe the paintbrush off in between, or even let a little color remain on the brush to overlap shades. Go back over each cookie with extra brush strokes. Make sure you let the icing fully dry on each cookie, then stack into boxes.

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