Saturday, September 26, 2020

Home Eat & Drink Mary's Recipe: Gorgeous, Heartfelt Valentine Cookies

Mary's Recipe: Gorgeous, Heartfelt Valentine Cookies


It’s true.

Once, I didn’t think twice about breaking out the KitchenAid, beating up a bunch of butter and sugar, mixing up a batch of royal icing and decorating dozens of cookies.

It’s hard for me to believe now.

But I–and my cohort in creativity, my sister-in-law Susan–was always a sucker for holiday traditions–I sewed the kids’ Halloween costumes and Christmas stockings, made Advent houses and Christmas ornaments, dyed and hid Easter eggs, and even served pancakes for supper on Shrove Tuesday.

I signed up for so much that I never got it all done, and frequently what I didn’t get done was Christmas cookies.

Hence, Valentine cookies. Heck, it’s just two months later and in a season rush of overconfidence, I had always already bought all the stuff.

Anyway, Valentine cookies are easier–you don’t need as many cookie cutters or colors of food coloring. That doesn’t mean the V-cookies weren’t outrageously elaborate. They were. One year, we thought they were so pretty, we went to the copy shop and Xeroxed them. Everyone received a cookie and a color copy of their cookie.

Anyway, over time, Susan perfected the cookie recipe. The one we started with tasted great, but puffed during baking so much that the hearts looked more anatomically correct than romantic. You know. Blobby, and a little gross.

But the recipe we tried without eggs didn’t taste good enough. So Susan, famously not the cook in the family but for sure the artist, brought her sculptural talent to bear and experimented until she found a delicious cookie dough that held its shape. To my knowledge, this is her primary cooking accomplisment in 60 years, unless you want to count porcupine meatballs, which we never do.

So here it is. Roll, cut, bake and decorate. We used a gently beaten egg white beaten with poowdered sugar and colored with Wilton food pastes. Now, if I were going to make them–and I’m not–I’d use cake jewels like these:


I’d use edible glitter like this:


You can order it on or buy it at Michael’s.

And for grown-up cookies, I’d use edible gold, like this:


You can buy it here:

You can make cookies at home almost as pretty as the ones in the picture at the top, which are from Kneadacookie. Of course, you can also just order cookies from, or for that matter, from our own Mrs. Backer’s Pastry Shop, which makes cookies that look like this and are beyond an amateur’s power.



1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, separated

2 Tablespoons milk

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla

1 lb. powdered sugar

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, milk and vanilla. Mix together the flour, salt and powdered sugar, and then add to the dough. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate several hours. Or overnight. Or several days. Roll out on a lightly floured board to about 1/8-inch thick and cut with a floured cutter. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Refrigerate dough between batches.


Lightly beat 4 egg whites. Using an electric mixer, add onfectioners sugar until the icing just barely stays on a knife, so you can spread it. Divide it into separate bowls and color each one as desired. Ice cookies. with this icing, you can spread a base coat, let it dry, then use a pastry bag or a toothpick to add different colored designs. Thin icing with hot water as needed; it thickens as it stands. Add dragees, sprinkles, sugar glitter or jewels. Place decorated cookies on a rack to dry.

I don’t know how many cookies this makes–maybe 3 dozen, but it depends on how big your heart cutters are.

-Mary Brown Malouf

Last night’s vigil for Breonna Taylor. ...

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
Have a peaceful Tuesday evening ☮️

Everyone could use a breath of fresh air! 🌞⁠

Be sure to follow social distancing rules on the tails. 🌲 Check the link in bio to read our convo with the Executive director of the @mtntrailspc foundation, Charlie Sturgis, about being part of the covid-19 solution. ⁠

Be gentle with one another, Salt Lake ❤️

Our September-October issue is on stands now! ⁠

Salt Lake magazine has traditionally devoted its September-October issue to travel, describing trips to destinations all over the world. This year, confined by COVID, we’re looking closer to home. ❤️⁠

Stay well and be sure to pick up our latest issue or subscribe to our magazine through the link in bio!


Happy Monday 🏞
Who else is dreaming of the weekend? 😴

“The power of the people is always stronger than the people in power." - Angela Johnson⁠

Check the link in bio to read our Q & A with protest organizers. ⁠

Photo credit: Max Smith @phhhhhhhhhhhotos⁠

It's getting HOT in here! 🌞 Check out our list of the best swimming spots in Utah to cool down at! Link in bio. ⁠

Have a safe and responsible weekend, Utah! Oh and P.S. Wear a mask ❤️⁠

📸: Photo courtesy of Utah Office of Tourism⁠

Something fishy is happening on the eastern edge of the Jordanelle Reservoir... ⁠

A municipality is attempting to annex unincorporated land across a county line without that county’s approval. If this sounds like madness, that’s because it is. Read the full story though the link in bio. ⁠

📸 Photo courtesy of: Utah Office of Tourism

Summertime slush! Soft cold slurpy sweet treats- the classic seasonal delight. 🍧⁠

Here’s where to get the best and how to make them yourself, check the link in bio! 🍭

We're a little red rock crazy this weekend if you couldn't tell. (But how could we not be!)⁠

🏜️ Check out 3 pup friendly hikes in our beautiful Moab 🐶 Link in bio! Happy Hiking! ⁠

📸: Utah Office of Tourism