I was recently on vacation when I stumbled upon a five dollar or less cookbook sale. I ended up getting Baked from the Heart by Stephanie Greenleigh for $2.50. I love baking and cooking for others, so I was (and am) pretty excited about it. The first two things that inspired me to bake (birthday scones for a friend and heart shaped cookies for my boyfriend) are followed here.
Birthday Scones with Orange Glaze (not a recipe from the book, but it was inspired by a scone recipe that was in there). The scones recipe I used is here (and the title really says it all).
Follow the recipe from the link listed above (although I just made plain scones, I did not add currants or raisins nor did I make the egg wash), but add 1/2 tsp each of vanilla extract (I used vanilla sugar, but I haven’t seen that in grocery stores in the U.S., mine is from Sweden. It may be available at Scandinavian stores and Ikea) and cinnamon for a little bit more flavor. When they have been baked and cooled, whisk together some orange juice and powdered sugar (don’t know the measurements here because I didn’t use any, just mix powdered sugar with a wee bit of orange juice until it has the right sticky texture and tastes the way you want it) and drizzle on scones. If you want you can add some chopped up cranberries or nuts on top as well.
Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies (taken from the book named above)
1 3/4 flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (if you just have salted, use that but leave out the pinch of salt)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract (once again, I used vanilla sugar here)
1 tsp finely grated orange zest (optional, I didn’t add it in)
The following preparation procedure is not followed exactly as the book says, but the way I made it which worked just fine:
Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a pan (to start with, I actually had to use three pans because there were so many cookies) and set aside. Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream the butter and sugars in another bowl until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg, vanilla, and orange zest if you are using it. Then mix in the dry ingredients with the electric mixer set on low speed until everything is well combined. Roll out the dough, and using a heart shaped cookie cutter cut out shapes (I used a small one instead of a larger one, but either one works). Put them on the pan and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Then let them cool.
Here is the icing recipe that I used (there was another one in the book, but I decided to make my own). Add the ingredients to your own liking.
Vanilla Sugar or Extract
1/2 tsp Cocoa Powder
Mix the powdered sugar with a little bit of water (it should be pretty stiff). Then add some orange juice and the vanilla and cocoa until the mixture is of right consistency. Spread the icing on the cooled cookies, and add some sprinkles if you want (I added some red ones to complement the heart shape). My boyfriend and his family loved them!