So, Valentines day is just around the corner, and regardless of whether you've got somebody to love, I think you should make these cookies. You will love them. If you are one of those anti-Valentines day people, make these anyway. Cut the cookies into circular shapes for goodness sake. What I am ensuring right now is true, decadent love in cookie form. And I think it goes without saying that we all need a little love in our lives, no matter what format it may come in.
I stumbled upon 'Jimmy's Pink Cookies' while reading A Homemade Life. I don't know what it was exactly that made me so excited to try these cookies. I used to think the idea of icing on top of a cookie was completely unnecessary, and I guess, in most instances it is. It's over the top, entirely. It's far too sweet and way too much. However, I figured if it was good enough for Molly, it would probably be more than good enough for me. And oh baby, I am so happy I gave these guys a chance. These are the kind of cookies that evoke "Oooh's!" and "Ahhh's!" left, right, and center. They are buttery, decadent, and sinfully sweet in the nicest possible way. I probably ate far to many, but we've nearly made it through January, and if you ask me, a little decadence at this point wouldn't hurt one bit.
Jimmy's Pink Cookies
Adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
This recipe makes a magnificent amount of icing. Perhaps too magnificent an amount. But as Molly says, "Don't be alarmed by the amount this recipe makes. You will want it all, or most of it, at least. These cookies are meant to be frosted very generously. Without a nice, thick layer, they aren't nearly as good." And trust me, this is true.
For the cookies
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1¼ teaspoons kirsch, or more to taste, or a capful of cherry extract
Red food coloring
To make the cookies, combine the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat, first on low speed, and then slowly increasing to medium, until light and fluffy.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt, whisk well. With the mixer on low. add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until the flour is just absorbed. Add the vanilla and beat well to incorporate. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a large, clean surface, and turn the dough out onto it/ gather the dough into a ball, press it into a thick disk, and wrap well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
On a clean, floured surface, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. (If you don't have a lot of room, cut the disk of dough down the middle, and work with only one half at a time, leaving the second one in the refrigerator until ready for use.) Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into whatever shapes you would like.
Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1½ inches apart. Bake them one sheet at a time, keeping the second sheet in the refrigerator until the first one is done, for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are pale golden at the edge. Do not allow them to brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, and cool the cookies completely on the pan.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed to fully incorporate, then raise the speed to medium or medium-high and beat until there are no lumps, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the kirsch and a couple drops of red food coloring and beat well. The frosting should be a pretty shade of pale pink. Taste, and if you want more cherry flavor, beat in a bit more kirsch. Generously spread onto the fully cooled cookies.
Stored in an airtight container, pink cookies will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days-and they're delicious cold-or you can freeze them indefinitely.
Yield: 20 to 24 (3-inch) cookies