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 Cookies, from 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.