Thursday, January 26, 2012

Will You Be My Valentine?


   
     When you're in second grade, Valentine's Day is wondrous. In the days leading up to it, you  thoughtfully decorate your mailbox with hearts and stickers, all the time anticipating what it might hold when the magical day arrives. Red and pink scraps of paper litter the classroom floor, evidence of hastily cut, glued, glittered and lettered missives of friendship that will be surreptitiously slipped into your classmates' expectant receptacles.


     In second grade everybody's your friend. You don't have to worry about girlfriends or boyfriends or dating or any of those drama inducing love triangles that will come all too soon and fill your Valentine's Day with more angst than should be allowed.

     In second grade, instead of worrying about who's sending you flowers or candy, you can tell jokes. Corny jokes. And riddles that you ask your friends over and over and they will always laugh. When you're in second grade, jokes are always funny. Classics like:

What did the boy bird say to the girl bird?  "Let me call you Tweet Heart."
What did the boy bat say to the girl bat? "Let's hang around together."
What did the boy cat say to the girl cat? "We're purrrfect for each other."


     The long awaited fourteenth  arrives, and all day long eyes are glued to the bulging bags on the classroom counter.  Not soon enough, little fingers are busy unearthing and poring over the hidden treasures within; little envelopes with colorful cards and maybe a piece of candy or two. Affirmations of friendships. And hopefully, cookies.


     These Iced Spice Cookies have been the "go-to" cookie in my household for years. Simpler to decorate than the last Valentine cookies I posted, they were a breeze to make. I used Sweet Sugarbelle's "Twenty Second" royal icing since the cookies were smallish. I loved that I only had to make two different colors of frosting, but you could make yours as colorful as you like. The hearts on the cookies were made by immediately piping dots of frosting onto each freshly frosted cookie, and then drawing a toothpick through the dots from top to bottom. Do this immediately, before the frosting crusts, and be sure to wipe off the toothpick after every pass to keep your hearts neat!

     Make some of these for someone you love. And if you know any second graders, ask them to tell you their favorite joke. Be prepared to listen to their peals of laughter while you secretly groan inside. :)

Iced Spice Cookies
(printable page)

recipe adapted from Patti Paige, Creative Ideas for Living Jan/Feb '89
2/3 cup shortening (I use butter)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt (I only use 1)
1 large egg (from a happy hen if you can find one-mine aren't laying right now)
3/4 cup molasses
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Directions:

  • Cream together the first six ingredients. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Add the molasses and mix again. Set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to molasses mixture and mix until dough forms.
  • Divide the dough into two balls (flattened), wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least three hours. (I chilled it overnight) This dough is hard to work with unless it's chilled.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll out one ball of dough to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. The original recipe calls for rolling the dough out between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper or a floured pastry cloth. I didn't have those so I just checked my dough frequently to make sure it wasn't sticking to my surface.
  • Cut out desired shapes. Gather scraps into a ball and put in the freezer while you repeat with the rest of your dough.
  • Transfer cookies to parchment covered (or greased) baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, making sure edges don't burn. Cool completely on a rack before frosting. For me this recipe made about 4 dozen small cookies.








50 comments:

  1. These look professionally made! Kudos!

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  2. So sweet, seeing your Valentine cookies has made my morning!

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  3. Oh my goodness, these are gorgeous!! You did a fantastic job. You could sell these. :o)

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  4. Cute post and so true about second graders :) What a beautiful job you did of decorating those delicious-sounding cookies!

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  5. Love the hearts! I'm just a little annoyed that our school district only allows store bought prewrapped treats. That just about kills me! Love all your photos!

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  6. These cookies are so pretty and perfect. What a great job you did decorating them.

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  7. So tasty! And such great practical advice. Thanks!

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  8. Those are so pretty! Beautiful work, Betty! I love how the recipe has a lot of molasses and a little sugar. I'm definitely partial to molasses!

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  9. What a delight to read your post; your cookies are Picture perfect.
    Rita

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  10. Beautiful cookies! I loved the little trip down Valentine memory lane. I couldn't wait to have my pretty box filled with cards. By the time our boys were in elementary school, those boxes seemed to have gone the way of the dinosaurs!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  11. These cookies are just gorgeous! I'd definitely be happy getting some of these from a valentine!

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  12. These are so beautiful...I'd be delighted to give or get these for Valentine's Day...or any. I think I may have to switch up from my regular-old sugar cookies to these spiced ones!

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  13. Oh,my! These are some of the most beautiful cookies I've seen!!! Your icing is perfect! Thanks for sharing your talent with us all~

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  14. I especially like the icing recipe and will endeavour to make Valentine cookies for my beloveds but shall bake a shortbread base instead.I would like to try your spice cookie recipe too and will pair it with a lemon or honey buttercream frosting instead.Thank you for the inspiration!

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  15. gorgeous! you really have a talent for icing!

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  16. Your cookies are absolutely amazing! ^^ And I agree - I miss 2nd grade Valentine's Day...and when you gave your crush an extra cookie or sticker. Hehe

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  17. You're thinking ahead since it will take some time for these to arrive on my door via FedEx:D

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  18. Wow the design on those icing looks so perfectly made, I guess I wont have that artistic hand to make something as beautiful as those

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  19. Beautiful Valentine cookies, happy cookies!

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  20. Happy Valentine Day. This is so sweet recalling this special day when you are second grade. I didn't receive any corny jokes for my Valentine's days because I was from a all-girls school.

    Your cookies are very beautifully decorated! Love them!

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  21. Your cookies are so beautiful and lovely! I am hopeless when it comes to decorating cookies and cakes! You are really good at it, so neat and pretty!

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  22. It's sweet to remember about Valentine's day :)Those cookies look amazing!!!!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  23. How insanely creative and amazing! Wow, I am pinning this right now. I love the frosting and colors. So pretty too!

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  24. What a sweet post! Valentine's day in second grade is fun, thank you for bringing back those memories! And these cookies look just beautiful - I love how you have decorated them!

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  25. Beautiful cookies. Thanks for the 2nd grade memories. I loved when I kids told all those corny jokes.
    Mimi

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  26. Such a sweet and lovely post! The frosting of those heart cookies is so adorable.

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  27. What a fun post, and your cookies look amazing! How lovely they are :)

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  28. We're on the same wavelength Betty! I have cookies that are similar (but quite different). I love the feathering effect on the heart!

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  29. Oh for the days of second grade when everyone was everyone else's valentine.

    I love these cookies and even though I'm not too keen on celebrating V-Day this year, I could definitely see myself eating QUITE a few of these. And liking it. So pretty!

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  30. Second grade is such a cute age...Valentine's Day was the best, I always loved getting a Valentine from everyone in the class, lol. Your cookies are really beautiful, Betty!

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  31. I miss grade school only because of Valentines Day! I loved making a valentines box and handing out valentines. Aww.. the memories! :) Your cookies are too cute!

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  32. Those are adorable. You are so good at decorating! I am such a klutz...I don't even attempt it anymore.

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  33. These are too cute! i bet the second grade version of myself would love them! Who am I kidding... the adult version would love them, too!

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  34. Those cookies are adorable. I love the pink and red color combo.You did a great job decorating them

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  35. Hello Betty...so nice to be back ;o)
    Believe it or not, I've really never frosted cookies before. Ohhh...how envious of you I am right now. You hold such great decorating skills.

    Valentines will be special for sure.

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  36. hi mommalaw! i made a blog! aren't you proud? ;) can you believe that laz is going to be a second grader in, what?, a year or so? love you muchly. oh, and the cookies are so beautiful! as always.

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  37. Love the jokes and the cookies. I'm sure your students adore you!!

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  38. These are simply BEAUTIFUL - it would make my valentine that's for sure!!
    Mary x

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  39. I can't wait to tell your jokes to my grandkids. I know they will laugh. Your cookies are beautiful and I was sure you were going to say that you bought them at a fancy bakery. I've never gotten along well with a pastry bag, but I may try a batch of your cookies. They are a perfect little Valentine's Day present.

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  40. These are adorable and beautiful!

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  41. Beautiful! The recipe does sound delicious, but it's the decorating that I like...and it's something that I do not do well, alas.

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  42. Such gorgeous cookies!!!! I wish I had the talent and patience to make such beautiful cookies...but for now I'll just admire yours :)

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  43. Your cookies are gorgeous! And so true about Valentine's day in second grade!

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  44. These cookies are perfect for Valentine's and their colors are so vivid! you have a lovely collection of recipes in your blog!

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  45. I really like your blog!! It´s very nice and cute.
    All the recipes and post, are both very interesting :D
    I´m your new follower!
    I invite you to visit my blog, I hope you like it.
    xoxoxo from Spain
    http://janakitchen.blogspot.com

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  46. My dear friend! These look almost too pretty to eat. But of course, I wouldn't be able to resist. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers last week. They mean more to me than I can express. I hope you have a blessed week, my friend.

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  47. Hi Betty,
    Iced spice cookies, you are speaking my cookie language. Only 20 seconds for royal icing sounds great. I think we should all send silly Valentines even though we are grown up. Looking forward to coming back over here and seeing more of your cute creations.
    -Gina-

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  48. Hi Betty,
    these cookies are purrrr-fect for Valentine's day! You decorated them so beautifully! WOW!
    Wish I could jump in the car and come by your house to have a couple ...

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  49. I want to be in second grade again. And I want to be your Valentine because I know you'd bake and make these gorgeous cookies for me. <3

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  50. I'd love to be in 2nd grade too.
    These photographs are beautiful. Wonderful job with the Valentines cookies :)

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Thanks for stopping by scrambled hen fruit! I appreciate all of your comments and look forward to reading them.

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