DIY Basketball Valentine’s Sugar Cookies For Him

Greetings, from my side of the blogosphere to yours! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and the Valentine’s care package I’ve been creating for my fiancé-over the last month and a half, is officially complete with this batch of basketball, (retro) Lakers’-inspired sugar cookies.  I made a test batch last month and was happy with the results. I made them again last night and was even more pleased the second time around. So, here’s what you’ll need:

Tools/Equipment:

1) Heart-shaped cookie cutters: small, medium, or large (I have a medium and large)
and circle cookie cutters (or you can do what I do and  use the top of a small glass cup).
2) Waxed paper (once cookies are baked you’ll place them on waxed paper to cool completely before decorating.  Excess icing will fall on the waxed paper- making the cleaning process that much easier!
3) Grater (you’ll be using this to grate lemon peel or orange peel for the lemon/orange zest (your preference)
4) Four bowls for:
-dry ingredients
-dough
-orange icing
-purple icing
5) Cookie decorating squeeze bottle (I used an empty Wilton’s icing bottle I saved) Hashtag: resourceful.
6)  Dry ingredients measure cup  *I only have a liquid ingredients measuring cup, and it has worked just the same for me.
7) Tablespoon and teaspoon

Ingredients for cookies:
1) Flour-3 cups
2) Egg- 1 large egg
3) Vanilla extract- 1 teaspoon
4) Lemon or orange zest- 1 teaspoon
5) Sugar- 1 cup
6) Almond extract (optional)
7) Cream cheese- 2 ounces of cream cheese, softened
8) Salt- 1/2 teaspoon
9) Unsalted butter- 1 cup, softened
10) Baking Powder- 1 1/2 teaspoons

Ingredients for icing
10)  Powdered sugar-1 cup
11) Food coloring- One drop or two (remember color gets darker as it dries).
12) milk or water-2 tablespoons (or 2 1/2 tablespoons)
Milk has a slightly better consistency but water works, too.
I used milk the first time.
I used water the second time (ran out of milk).

Borrowed the sugar cookie recipe from thekitchn.com
No, that’s not a typo. There’s no “e.”

Now, let’s get rollin’! Yes, that was a bakin’ pun.
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Unsalted butter, softened, for at least an hour is ideal. If you’re short on time, you may microwave your butter (remove wrapper) for 10-15 seconds. Make sure to decrease the power before doing so. You want the butter softened, not melted.

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Orange zest. A little goes a long way. Just grate one teaspoon of orange zest; it will give your sugar cookies a subtle taste.

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Mix sugar, cream cheese, and butter until fluffy. Then, beat in egg, vanilla, and orange zest (almond extract optional).
In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, and salt) and then add to the sugar, cream, cheese, egg, and butter mix. Use your hands and get into the mixture until dough is formed. Chill dough in the refrigerator for one hour.

Soo..your dough is now chilled and your ready to bake! Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

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This is what the dough looked like after being chilled in the refrigerator for one hour. Not too bad, right?

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Sprinkle flour on a cutting board and pat down dough. Use rolling pin to give it a smooth finish.

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Flatten out dough. Don’t make it too thin or too thick. Here’s where you have to kind of eyeball it. Use your judgement.

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These are the cookie cutters I used. I bought them from my local grocery store.
I didn’t bother buying a circle cookie cutter because I figured cups could do the job just fine, and I was right.
The small glass cup worked great.

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The dough is so easy to work with, and that’s what I really appreciate about this recipe.
If dough starts to stick to the rolling pin or cutting board,
just sprinkle a little flour on both and resume rolling, flatting, and cookie cutting.

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These are the cookies before they’re baked.

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These are the cookies fresh out of the oven. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until gold brown on edges and bottom.
My cookies came out perfectly after an 11-minute baking time.

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This is the complete batch. Recipe makes about two dozen cookies (depending on size).

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Icing! It’s just one cup powdered sugar and two tablespoons of milk (or water).
I added a little bit of vanilla extract for taste.

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Yes, there’s icing everywhere, but that’s where the waxed paper comes in.
Better on the waxed paper than the counter, right? Right. I don’t have a decorator’s paint brush,
so I just took the cookies, dipped them into the icing, and let the excess icing spill back into the bowl and waxed paper.
Wait until the orange and purple icing have dried a little before using the black icing to decorate. I bought the black icing and it came in a tube. Once I got home, I realized I didn’t have a tip compatible with the tube. So, I emptied out the black icing into the old Wilton’s bottle, put it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, and once the black icing was melted, used the bottle to decorate.

The easiest way to create the black basketball curves and lines is to start from the outside and work your way in. Create one curved line on the left side of the cookie. Then create another on the right side (curves should be back-to-back). Then, draw one vertical line down the middle of the cookie, followed by a horizontal line straight through the middle. In the future, I’ll try to incorporate video step-by-step instructions for my visual bloggers.

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Let icing dry for 24 hours.

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Play ball!

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Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day!

XO & Pencil Chatter,

Rola

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