Capturing all the right moments of your child’s babyhood is overwhelming at times and I often find myself wondering if I have commemorated enough from these first two years. One of my favorite mementos is an outline of Baby L’s tiny hand that I used as a stencil for cookies for her first Christmas. It took a lot of patience to hold that chubby little hand still as I traced it, but it was worth it. Now those fingers are longer and thinner and making these cutout cookies is especially sweet. I’ve used that template for this batch of buttery chocolate and vanilla Valentine’s cookies not only because it is cute, but because it reminds me of the truest love I will ever know: the love for my child. And I also get to share the cookies with my now two-year-old sidekick— if she doesn’t steal them all while I try to photograph them for this post.
Single or attached, I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. To me it is a fun light-hearted holiday that seems more like a child’s holiday than a romantic one. I grew up with my parents always making Valentine’s Day a family event with small gifts, homemade cards, and a fancy dinner at home (complete with me and my brother in our finest dress-up clothes). In the cold dark days of winter, there was the bright reds and pinks and lace-fringed hearts to warm us up.
Mr. L and I will be putting our own spin on this tradition and having a fancy dinner at home with our funny Valentine. Baby L understands love in an honest and innocent way. She gives and welcomes it without reservation—and with all the giggles, tiny kisses, and sweet snuggles that come so naturally to her at this age.
These cookies are incredibly simple to make and they require just 5 ingredients that you probably already have on hand (6 ingredients for the chocolate ones). The best part? They are made in the food processor with butter straight from the fridge! No planning ahead necessary. You can use any cutter you like or cut the dough into diamonds with a knife. The colored sugar is optional as the cookies have a wonderful buttery flavor and do not need the extra sweetness, but for Valentine’s Day, why not sprinkle on a little extra love?
- 1 cup all-purpose
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar
- ¼ Dutch-process cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp. coarse salt
- ½ cup butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- colored sanding sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and vanilla. Process until a dough forms (the dough will form a ball and begin to pull away from the side of the food processor when done.) Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until ¼-inch thick. Cut as desired and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar if using. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the centers look dry (you will smell them!) Cool on the pan for 1 minute then on a cooling rack until cool. Store in an airtight container.
- *This dough freezes well.