February 14, 2011

valentine cookies, pure and simple

I love making sugar cookies.  It’s one of my favorite things and one thing I always regret not doing if I let a holiday go by without them.  For this reason, in the middle of my third week of a new job, after several of the busiest, longest days of the year, and three days before one of the organization’s biggest events of the year, I decided to make my annual Valentine’s Day sugar cookies.  I knew I would be sad if I let February 14 pass without a batch of heart-shaped cookies in varying shades of pink.  I know what you’re thinking.  I’m crazy.  I don’t deny it.  In my defense, I cut out a couple hours of the process by skipping the buttercream piping and sticking with a simple glaze. 

I was particularly looking forward to making the cookies because I’d finally broken down and shelled out the $18 for all-natural food coloring.  I arrived at this point for a number of reasons. First of all, we try to keep our diet free of artificial ingredients, including artificial colors.  Until now my cookies were all-natural and mostly organic—except for the food coloring.  On top of my growing concern with consuming artificial ingredients, at some point during the past year I developed the unfortunate ability to taste the chemicals in my dyed frostings.  This sensitivity became difficult to overlook.  And the more food coloring I used (e.g. to achieve rich colors like red and black), the worse it was.

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I was quite pleased with the way this year’s cookies turned out, rushed though they were.  I didn’t go for a full-on red but stuck with shades of pink.  I think the all-natural food coloring was well worth the expense, especially given the fact that it should last me at least 6 months, maybe longer. 

Four drops of all natural red food coloring in one batch of glaze went from this:

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To this:

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I also experimented with adding raspberry puree to the glaze for some extra oomph.  DSC_1077

I loved the flavor.  Next time I’ll try replacing most of the milk in my glaze recipe with the berry puree for an even deeper shade of pink.

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I’m happy to say that the only thing “added” to these cookies is love. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

2 comments:

Brooke Edwards said...

Yum! I've had good luck using organic pureed baby carrots (like, from a jar of baby food) for orange and juice from frozen (then thawed, obvs) local blueberries for purpleish. I did some homemade graham cracker/cookies for Sadie back at Halloween and had purple bats and orange pumpkins. Sadie couldn't get enough!

Elizabeth said...

That sounds awesome. I'll remember to try carrots and blueberries next time!

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