For Valentine's Day we decided to take a short detour from our P-Dub cookbook marathon in order to make cookies for our guys. Ree had posted a fun recipe, Chocolate Valentine Cookies, which we just had to try.
This was especially exciting because Jo got to pull her KitchenAid mixer out of storage for the event.
We happily welcomed a new member to the family. That thing is a beast. Thank goodness for Uncle He-Man and his burly forearms.
Yes, thank goodness.
Once we figured out how to work the contraption, we mixed together butter and packed brown sugar. Whee! Who knew kitchen appliances could be so much fun.
We combined flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt, cocoa and cinnamon. The dry ingredients were whisked together.
To the brown sugar mixture, we added one egg and vanilla extract. More mixer time.
After this was combined, we poured in the flour mixture in three stages, allowing the dry ingredients to be incorporated properly.
We were not the only ones fascinated with the mixer. The Bean was captivated by his 'new toy'.
Next, we transferred the dough into a plastic bag to be chilled. Ree advises chilling the dough in the refrigerator for two hours. We, on the other hand, are impatient. Into the freezer went the dough for 30 minutes. It's like the tortoise and the hare. Ree wins.
Once chilled, we used a nifty trick to spread the dough evenly that Lou learned from Uncle He-Man's mother. Instead of flouring the counter top, we laid out plastic wrap and placed the dough on top. We covered the dough with another layer of plastic wrap. Lou rolled out the dough. The trick worked like a charm. Nothing adhered to the counter top this time...
Time for the heart-shaped cookie cutter.
We were able to cut two dozen cookies. These baked in the 350-degree oven for 12 minutes.
Once they were done, they were laid out on a cooling rack. The aromas of cocoa and cinnamon were divine.
The texture of these cookies sits on the fence somewhere between a crunchy cookie and a soft cookie. Perfect if you have trouble being decisive, like us. Some of our cookies went toward a special message for Uncle He-Man and Mr. Fabuful. The rest went in our bellies. Not right away. First we slathered them with peanut butter. Raise your hand if you heart peanut butter. Ree suggests Nutella spread as a great cookie topper. Yum.
Now for the messy part. We centered each stencil on a cookie. Then we covered any exposed part of the cookie. Lou held the stencil down while Jo sifted powdered sugar.
As we've mentioned before, Uncle He-Man and Mr. Fabuful were college roommates at Kansas State University, plowing through mechanical engineering majors together. Thus, our heart-felt message to our men:
Kansas boys are the best!