Every Valentine’s Day I challenge myself to come up with the most sickeningly cute dessert I can dream up. And you can bet that, without fail, each and every year includes some kind of sprinkles in varying shades of red and pink. In my opinion the holiday just begs for it. And, while I’ve always been more into the ideas of Galentine’s Day (see previous post) vs. the traditional Valentines Day, you all know I am virtually incapable of passing up a themed dessert. It should be of no surprise that this year was no exception. Not only are they almost too pretty to eat, they’re Ombré. I’m sure you can just picture my girly squeals as you read that last sentence.
You all know I am incapable of making a simple sugar cookie. Why would you want to just eat a bland, lackluster cookie when there are so many alternatives? These have a heaping of the darkest amber maple syrup, freshly-grated nutmeg and give me all kind of feels during what is typically a dreary, cold month. Seriously though, maybe Valentines Day was invited to try and help get us through one of my least favorite months. Tell me, what is good about February? Because I struggle you guys, seasonal depression is a real thing.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or National Single Awareness Day (that’s a thing, right?) I don’t think you’d regret baking and inhaling these cookies, ombré sprinkles or not.
cookie recipe from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (118 ml) maple syrup (Grade B is ideal here, but the original recipe suggested that Grade A with a few drops of maple extract would also work)
1 large egg yolk
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (because it packs more tightly)
1 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
Royal Icing (optional)
3 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup warm water + more
For the Cookies
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add yolk and slowly drizzle in maple syrup.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be in loose clumps. Gather them together into a tight packet with a large piece of plastic wrap and chill dough for at least two hours (and up to four days) until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. I like to roll out a quarter to half the dough at a time, leaving the rest in the fridge. On a floured counter, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.
- Arrange cookies on baking sheets and bake for 8 to 11 minutes each, or until lightly golden at the edges. Transfer to racks to cool. Cookies keep in airtight containers for a week, or in the freezer until their dance number is up.
For the Icing
- Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
**To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.