Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

As a baker, Valentine's Day is one of the best holidays for me. I'll use pretty much any excuse to bake: birthdays, Thursdays, 11:08 PM, whatever. Since I live by the title of this blog, these are all compelling reasons for me to bake. But Valentine's Day gives me slightly more legitimate reasons. Calories don't exist on February 14th! Everyone is down to eat red velvet and chocolate, and most don't feel guilty about it. And this means less guilt for me, a serial diet-ruiner. Also, I can hand out heart-shaped cookies and it's not weird...I think. And last and foremost, lots of people tend to be having a bad day on Valentine's Day. Maybe they don't have a Valentine. Or maybe they do. Or perhaps they spent nearly an hour de-icing their car in the morning, using a MARTA Breeze Card (oh, was that just me?). Whatever the reason, I love the opportunity to give people a reason to be happy. And like so many other times in life, the best reason to be happy on Valentine's Day is most certainly sugar. Along with  Red Velvet Cake Batter Fudge (not my recipe), I hope I made a few people's Valentine's Days a bit better this year with these tasty and super precious Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies! Here's how you can brighten some moods on Valentine's Day next year (or, let's be real, any day)!

1.5 sticks butter, softened
5 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup red velvet cake mix
2 cups flour

1. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt in a mixer until well-combined.
2. Gradually add in red velvet cake mix and flour and mix on low power.
3. Chill dough overnight, or at least for several hours.
4.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Roll dough out to no more than 1/2 inch thickness, on a floured surface.

5. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into shape(s) of choice.
6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or grease it).
7. Place cookie dough on prepared cookie sheet.

8. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Timing will depend on thickness, so be sure to watch closely. And remember the old adage: 
"Tis better to have a doughy cookie than a burnt cookie. 
In fact, it may even be better than a 'well-cooked' cookie."  
-Ok fine, I made that up. ©Dena 

9. Let cookies cool completely. 

10. Ice with any icing your heart desires. I used cream cheese icing AND dark chocolate icing. Aggressive? Maybe. Excessive? No way.

Whether you spent your Valentine's Day celebrating love, sweets, or some of both, we hope it was grand.

Ice cookies, not cars (that means you, Mother Nature)...and when in doubt, bake!
<3 Dena

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