Let me tell you how good these cookies are. If you have someone you love, bake these cookies for them in honor of Valentine’s Day. If you don’t have a valentine, bake them for yourself and don’t share with anyone.
These cookies are amazing. Fresh ginger gives them a spicy bite. The lemon royal icing lends a bright finish. Most importantly, they are totally pretty.
Ginger Lemon Valentine Cookies
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 tbsp meringue powder (if you can’t find this at your grocery store, try the cake decorating section of a hobby shop)
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approx. 4 lemons)
Prepare the icing ahead of time. Combine the meringue powder, confectioners sugar and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary, until the icing is smooth and glossy (about 5 minutes). You can thin the icing by adding some water 1 tbsp at a time. For the appearance in the above picture, separate some of the white icing in a separate dish leaving about half in the mixer. With the half in the mixer, add a few drops of red gel food coloring and mix until the icing is a pretty pink. You can store the icing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Now time to make the cookies. Prepare 3 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or by coating them in a thin layer of unsalted butter. Set aside. Whisk together flour, ground ginger, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer until pale and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs and fresh ginger and mix to combine. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture gradually, beating until incorporated. Shape dough into two disks and wrap each in plastic; refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour).
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut hearts using a 3 1/4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Transfer to baking sheets and bake 15-17 minutes or until the edges are just golden. Don’t overbake. Let the cookies cool on wire racks.
Spread icing on the cooled cookies and sprinkle with white nonpareils while the icing is still soft. Let stand 3 hours or overnight until icing sets.
Cheers and most Happy Valentines Day!