Homemade sugar cookies are great for every occasion. They can be cut and colored in any way you like. The options are endless! I usually make a batch around each holiday. My Aunt Lora’s simple sugar cookie recipe is the one that I like to use. It only requires six common ingredients and the dough can last in the refrigerator for up to a month.
I have eaten these sugar cookies for as long as I can remember. My grandpa and I would walk through the woods (yes, literally through the woods) from his house to hers and she would always have a batch waiting for us in the kitchen. She only baked them in the shape of stars with white icing and one red hot in the center. When we would walk in, she quickly directed me to the kitchen to have a cookie. What she didn’t know is that I really didn’t care for the red hot in the center. I would pick it off each time and look around for the garbage. I never found it! I know it had to be somewhere in there, but I was never able to find it. So, what I did instead was take the red hot and drop it down the sink. I was careful not to turn on the water so that I didn’t get caught.
In honor of Valentine’s Day and Aunt Lora, I cut out some conversation heart cookies. This first version has the more generic sayings that were printed on the famous candies. When I was in elementary school, we had a Valentine’s Day party each year. Most teachers allowed for a card exchange, and when you were lucky, you got a sucker attached to your card or a box of these little candies. My friend Jill and I would crack into our boxes and talk about who we would give the individual little candies to and what the saying would be. The conversation usually went something like this:
“Look at this one Jill. It says True Love. You could give this to your boyfriend Clyde (name anonymized).”
“You know I don’t have a boyfriend! And, I certainly don’t like Clyde! His hair sticks up in back and his teeth are yellow. I better stick with this one- It’s blank. I can make it say whatever I want.”
We would go on until either the candies were gone or until the party was over and we had to get back into our seats. Keep in mind, we never actually gave anyone a piece of candy, but had a good time talking and laughing about it.
This year, I decided to do something a little different. I made the traditional conversational heart cookies, but also added in some Southern sayings. Some of these sayings were the ones Jill and I came up with and wished the candy company would print. Others I added along the way. If you aren’t from the South, they may sound a little foreign, but they all taste delish!
Conversation Heart Sugar Cookie
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 8 ounces powdered sugar
- 3-5 tablespoons cold whole milk start with 3 tablespoons and add as needed
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- In an electric mixer, beat butter on high for 5 minutes or until lightens in color. Add granulated sugar and combine well.
- Scrape down sides of bowl. Add egg, vanilla, and salt. Mix on medium until incorporated.
- Add flour, one cup at a time and mix on low until combined. Do not overmix or your dough will be tough. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough until 1/8 inch thick. Flour desired cutters and create shapes. Transfer shapes to cookie sheet or stone. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes. Cookies will still be light when removed from oven.
- Allow to rest on cookie sheet or stone for 10 minutes until transferring to a cooling rack.
- In a medium sized bowl, add powdered sugar and vanilla flavoring. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time until desired thickness. The icing should be easy to spread without running off the cookie.
- Allow to completely dry before stacking.
- Store in an airtight container. Cookies will remain fresh for up to 7 days.