15 February 2012


My grandma Mary Deane was the most organized woman you'd ever meet.  She had the same meals on Mondays, the same meals on Tuesdays (you get the point) so she always knew what to get at the grocery store.
She loved blue.  Everything was blue: her couches, her carpet, her fuzzy wallpaper, her dishes, her car.  Her house was always spotless and she had her Christmas gifts for all 50 grandchildren wrapped and mailed before most people even begin to think about Christmas.
Her standard gift to the grandkids was a "book" of lifesavers (a box that opened like a book containing 8 rolls of lifesavers) with a 5 dollar bill taped inside.
It only took me 17 years to remember that she always tapes the money in, thus not tearing that crisp, fresh-from-the-bank bill.
The lifesavers were, of course, devoured immediately.  Mostly.  There were always two rolls of all cherry left over from my book, probably because the multi-colored ones were so much more gripping, the suspense of what color would be next, or the excitement of the exotic tropical ones.  I loved the pure white coconut ones.
But, as it turns out, the reds are the perfect ones to save for some easy Window Cookies for the following holiday :).  My grandma, always planning ahead.

My mom used to make these using a hand mold with a heart in the center.  I inherited the cookie cutters, including the heart hand, but the fingers are so skinny, I'm not sure how she did it! (They just got stuck in the cookie cutter when I tried--you'll have to teach me your tricks, mom).
So, I just used a simple round cutter and a small heart in the center.
It went rather quickly.
I also used a roll out sugar cookie recipe so the dough doesn't puff up too much, squeezing the life out of your window.

These would also be fun to do for other holidays, just change out the center design and color.

You could even add some sanding sugar for more color on the cookie.

I used Cook's Illustrated recipe Rolled Butter Cookiesfrom their Best Recipe cookbook:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar, or granulated sugar blended in blender for 30 seconds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for work surface
  • Colored hard candy, crushed up

➊Cream butter, sugar, salt until light and fluffy.  Add yolk, whole egg and vanilla, beating well.  Add flour, beating slowly until just incorporated.  Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 2 days or double-wrapped and frozen 1 month).

➋Preheat oven to 375°. Sprinkle flour on work surface and roll out one disc to 1/8 inch. Cut shapes out and place onto parchment lined baking sheets 1/2 inch apart.  Sprinkle lifesaver bits in heart cut-outs.  Make sure not to leave any on the cookie dough.  Bake 6-8 minutes.  Leave on sheet until completely cool.

my notes: I rolled my dough out on parchment paper so I could use it to peel off the circles.  If you find your rolled out dough gets too soft, put the parchment on a cookie sheet and in the fridge for a few minutes until the dough hardens up again.  I baked mine on Silpat and had no problems with sticking. Only roll out the dough twice, as the third time begins to make the cookie tough.

Also, while I'm recapping Valentine's day, I saw these heart hair-dos on pinterest a couple of weeks ago and told my girls I would do their hair in the shape of a heart on Valentine's Day...then promptly forgot about it.
Olive reminded me as I was trying to scootch them out the door for school (why is it always inopportune times when my children decide to remember things?)  So we quickly did them up and they were a hit.  
They didn't, however, look nearly as good by the the time they returned home from school.  I'm glad Valentine's day is over.


  1. Oooohh, I love it when I can be the first comment.
    I LOVE you so.

  2. I've tried to make these before but they always stick. Maybe I need a silpat.

  3. i LOVE this loving first comment :)

  4. This is so lovely...wonderful post and wonderful pictures!

  5. Everything about this post is perfection... I wish I could grab a cookie from the screen.

  6. Katy, We got your Valentine today. Wonderful to hear from you guys! How your family has grown! You are all beautiful. I so enjoyed the update and perusing your blog. Thanks!

  7. So fun! I am not a fan of any thing cherry flavored but I loved the coconut and orange.

  8. oh man, i LOVED those lifesaver books (and look for them to give to my children because i liked them so much) and coconut was definitely my fav flavor! those look like yummy cookies!

  9. LOVE you lovely shots of yummy reds...and the image of that $5 bill "taped" carefully for each of the 50 (50??? wow!!) grandkids.
    and those darling cookies turned out so well...might be making those babies one of these days :)

  10. Love the cookies, thank you for the recipe.
    And the hair is great.
    Also all the pictures of the lifesavers.
    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Beautiful story behind the post and I can only imagine what Valentine's Day is like with a flock of girls! :)

  12. Dude, how could ou do that to your girls hair on the way out the door? It takes me like 10 minutes just to put Gracie's hair in a pony tail. SHeesh! You're good.

  13. Imust of found the same pin on pinterest too..hehe!! Bc I did all three of my school girls hair in the heart too...i plan on trying to post up a picture today on my blog..it took way to long and they were late for breakfast but i guess it was worth it bc the girls all said that it was a HUGE hit!!! :))

  14. Oh! I remember those lifesaver books. Didn't like getting the white peppermint ones, but loved cherry, grape, and orange! (Thanks for the memories!

  15. Sisters, sisters . . . we made the cookies at Christmas and they were called cathedral windows . . . if you ever visit Salt Lake City come and see me at abode!

  16. Beautiful story behind the post!!!
    Beautiful blog too, love it!

  17. this is such a fun cookie. who would have thought that you can make an awesome cookie out of lifesavers!!

  18. These look so yummy! But I really want to know about your picture of the vanilla beans in some sort of liquid...What is the liquid and why are they stored that way?

  19. o.k. this may be one of your BEST posts ever!! the cookies!! Oh I used to love love love the life saver books...they were such a huge treat when I was little..and the heart hair!!!! icing on the cake!!!!!

  20. kaycee--that is our perpetual vanilla extract. When we need some vanilla seeds, we just pull out a pod. All it is is vodka and vanilla beans. When either gets low we just add some more.

  21. I'm not sure how I found your blog, but I did, and I love it! Awesome photos, awesome cookies. Love the hair too!

  22. Ahhhh, I never would have figured that out! Thanks! I think I have to try it.

  23. I, too, was wondering about your vanilla extract. Thanks for sharing! Now if I can just get up the nerve to go to a liquor store. LOL.

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  25. Hi Katy! I saw a funny little picture that reminded me of your blog (and then put the wrong link) and then found it again! http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=22523

  26. Orly--hehe! My sweet readers keep sending me that :) Thanks for thinking of me!

  27. The white coconut are my favorite too. ;)
    I might try to make these with green shamrocks... what do you think?


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