Valentine's Day: Flowers and Cookies

Flowers from Ryan this morning :)
Some people from our church got together and decided to do "Secret Valentine Families." Essentially, it's like Secret Santa, but we have to give gifts in secret to our assigned family for at least three days and reveal who we are on Valentine's Day.  It's organized thusly:  If you sign up, you will be assigned a family, and another family will also be assigned to you.  Ryan and I have had fun putting together Valentine's packages for our family, and the last one (a cute bucket of CANDY!) will be delivered this evening.

What I really wanted to tell you about was the cute family that were our secret valentines.  One night they dropped off a darling bag with the following:  heart-shaped Junior Mints, red sprinkles, two small containers of frosting (white and pink), a heart shaped cookie cutter, and a pre-made roll of sugar cookie dough!  Sweet!

So, naturally we used it right away and made some Valentine sugar cookies...
Gettin' fancy with the sprinkles


SOFT SUGAR COOKIES        printer-friendly version
from my friend Jamie C. 
For shaped cookies, roll out and use cookie cutters.  Same baking time.  
(Ky's note: We always bake cookies on parchment paper.  For these, after pulling them out of the oven we let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.  Then we got to the fun part: decorating!)

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup sugar (for decorating)

Mix butter, shortening, and sugar.  Stir in eggs and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to wet ingredients.

Roll into balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Cook at 350* F for 10-12 minutes.  

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