Danish salted-butter cookies

Sugar Cookie Hearts

From the moment I saw this recipe for Danish Salted-Butter Cookies all I could see were visions of heart shaped cookies with bold pink sugar.

So I made it happen.

Sugar Cookie Hearts

Would you believe me if I told you that I actually followed the recipe?

I wouldn’t believe me.

But I did.

Okay, almost, I’m a rebel without a cause but with a desire to never follow the rules. I used our Vanilla Bean Sugar instead of the plain ol’ granulated sugar & a vanilla bean that the recipe calls for.

Here’s how to bring heart-shaped cuteness into your life:

2 sticks chilled salted butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup Vanilla Bean Sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough

1 cup sanding sugar

2 cookie cutters, I used a large and a small heart shaped cutter, Bon Appétit suggests using a 3″ diameter and a 1.5″ diameter cutter.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and vanilla bean sugar, beat until very light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Beat in 1 egg. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in 2 cups of flour.

Form the resulting dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Place the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F.

Let the dough sit at room temp for a minute or two, roll out on a lightly floured surface (I used a non-stick baking mat, BA suggests using parchment paper). In order to insure the dough is rolled out to equal thickness I placed a dowel on either side of the dough and rolled it out until my roller was flat on both of the dowels!

Cut out your cookies and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Ball up scraps into a disc, wrap and place in the fridge to chill before rolling out again.

Beat the last egg with a teaspoon of water. Brush the cookies with the egg wash and sprinkle on your sugar!!

Freeze for 10 minutes. Bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.

Sugar Cookie Hearts

Stay sweet,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Hi.

Hello.

(awkward silence accompanied by embarrassed blush)

How are you?! Are you all right? It’s been a while, it’s all my fault.

(nervous giggle followed by a hurried explanation and more blushing)

The holidays, you know, the family, the friends, the eating, the feasting, the socializing, the buying, the selling, the other friends, the other family…and then the birthdays, and the socializing, and the eating, do you know how many birthdays there are in January? A whole lot of ’em. It’s not a good excuse, I know, but are you a good blogger? Can you give me some tips? If not, can you just forgive me?

I promise, I’m back and I’m here to stay. It’s a new year and new recipes await!! Like this one:

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Maybe these are a little wild to be the first recipe of 2015, and to be honest I thought perhaps they were my first kitchen catastrophe of 2015. But the day after I made them, I sat down with a warm cup of Earl Grey tea, a book, and one of these cookies just for the heck of it. The next thing you know, I had to put down my book and grab another cookie to contemplate the subtle loveliness of chocolate, sugar, and Chinese 5 Spice.

The moral of that anecdote is that these cookies will be great the day they are made but they will be even better the next day. So for the best results, exercise some restraint, make yourself a cup of tea and eat one of these (or two of these) the day after you bake them.

Here’s what you need:Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

14 teaspoons butter

1 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons double strength vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg and 1 egg yolk

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Combine sugar and 5 Spice on a plate and set aside for future cookie rolling!

In a medium to large bowl melt the butter. While you let it cool down a bit, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder.

Check the butter, if it’s still a little warm that’s fine, go ahead and whisk in the brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Now add the egg, yolk, and the flour mixture. Stir until combined.

Place the dough in the refrigerator, you want it to cool down so you can easily roll it into balls. Take the balls and roll them through the sugar and 5 Spice mix you placed to the side.

Place the dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten them with a glass, sprinkling the flattened tops with a little more sugar & 5 Spice (hint: too much is never enough when it comes to sugar cookies and sugar).

Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. My dough balls were about 2 Tablespoons worth of dough and this recipe made about 24 cookies.

It’s good to be back, hope you enjoy!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies