For those of you who want to make this Valentine’s Day delicious and sweet, Protect America has put together this family-friendly activity for you to do at home! Make these amazing cookies the night before Valentine’s in order for them to be ready in time for the big day. This recipe makes 6 dozen cream cheese sugar cookies complete with icing and festive ideas to make them perfect.

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Ingredients

What you will need for the dough:

  1. 1 cup of white sugar
  2. 1 cup of butter, softened
  3. one 3 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 egg yolk
  8. 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose white flour

And for the royal icing:

  1. 3 ounces of pasteurized egg whites
  2. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  3. 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

For the dough:

Gather the ingredients for the dough. Then combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond extract, vanilla extract, and the egg yolk in a large bowl.  Beat the ingredients until completely smooth. Once you have attained a creamy consistency, slowly add the flour until you have blended it all together nicely.

The dough can stay in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the mixture chill in the refrigerator overnight – or for at least 8 hours. It is important for you to chill the dough, otherwise it will be very sticky and difficult to manipulate.

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Once the dough has been thoroughly chilled, you can start baking! On a lightly floured, clean surface, roll 1/3 of the dough out onto the counter space until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Refrigerate the remaining dough until it is ready to use. Cut the desired shapes our of the rolled dough with lightly floured cookie cutters. We suggest using heart shaped cutters in honor of Valentine’s Day. However, this recipe can be adjusted for any holiday.  Place the cookies 1 inch apart on un-greased cookie sheets. Leave the cookies plain for frosting or brush them with a slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy or colored sugar.

Baking heart cookies

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes in a preheated oven or until they are golden. Cool the cookies completely before you begin frosting them….otherwise the frosting will slide right off the hot cookie!

For the Icing:

You can start making the icing as soon as you pop the first batch of cookies into the oven or while you’re waiting for them to cool. In a large bowl of a standard mixer, combine the egg whites and vanilla. Beat them until frothy. Add the powdered sugar gradually while mixing on low speed. The mixture should be smooth and shiny by the time you finish adding all the sugar. For immediate use, transfer the icing to a pastry bag or a heavy duty storage bag and clip the corner for decorating. Separate bags with different colored icing by using food coloring and mixing the color prior to bagging the icing. If you want to save it or make it ahead of time, store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

To ice the cookies, take your corner-clipped bag and gently squeeze the icing out onto the cookie. To cover it completely, start in the middle and spiral the icing out from the center. It will flatten slightly so don’t go too close to the edge of the cookie to prevent running. Let the icing dry or use a tooth pick to create a tiny heart effect with dots of different colored icings. First ice the whole cookie, then with a different color of icing, make small dots. With the tooth pick you simply swipe down the center of the dot of icing to create a heart shape. For love letter cookies, you can purchase gourmet pens here and write directly on the white icing once it dries!

Let them dry and serve cold for your loved ones and friends!

This article was brought to you by Protect America, a leader in wireless home security technology. Happy Valentines from Protect America!

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