The other day my daughter and I decided to make cookies using her fun new heart shaped cookie cutters. We usually use her cookie cutters for playdough but this time we decide to use them to make cookies for her classmates. In this case I decided to use a simple, perfect shortbread recipe, sweetened with Meyer lemon and topped with fluffy pink frosting. There is nothing complicated or unusual about it which is the perfect kind of a cookie for a toddler. Since making these heart cookies has become one of our new favorite activities together I’ve taken to making the dough ahead of time, dividing the dough into thirds and keeping it chilled in the fridge. This way I can thaw a little bit at a time and we can make half a dozen cookies whenever we feel like it. That is the perfect pace for her since she gets distracted after a short while and wants to move on to other activities. Whether baking with kids are for your sweetie give this recipe a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Meyer Lemon Shortbread Hearts with Fluffy Pink Buttercream Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
1 stick of butter
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1. To Make the Cookies: In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the vanilla. Then spoon in the flour and salt, mixing just until the dough forms. Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it for at least 3 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to 1/8″ thickness then cut desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place the shapes on a lined cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown. Then cool completely before icing.
3. To make the icing cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar until completely smooth. Then add in the vanilla extract and milk and whip the frosting until it is incredibly light and fluffy. Add gel paste to color the frosting as desired. Frost the cooled cookies and serve!