Basic Cookie Dough

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup margarine, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

  2. In a separate bowl, beat the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.

  3. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring after each addition. The dough should be quite stiff. Cover it and chill at least four hours or overnight.

  4. Divide the dough into four sections. Flour a rolling pin, then roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/8″ (3 mm) thickness. Cut out heart shapes with a floured cookie cutter, then do one or all of the variations suggested on this page. Place cut-out cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 375°F (190° C) for 7–9 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Lollipop Cookies

For each lollipop, you will need: an uncooked heart cookie, a Popsicle stick, canned frosting, and red cinnamon candies.

Put a Popsicle stick on the cookie sheet. Place a cookie on the top and use your fingers to press the cookie to the stick; bake. When the cookie is done, let it cool a few minutes before carefully lifting it off the cookie sheet with a spatula. Let the cookie cool completely, then frost and decorate it with cinnamon candies.

Sandwich Cookies

For each sandwich, you will need: 2 uncooked heart cookies, a table knife, raspberry jam, and powdered sugar.

Cut out a small circle in the middle of one of the cookies, then bake both cookies. When they have cooled, spread jam on the solid cookie, top it with the cutout cookie, and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Cookie Card

For each card, you will need: two uncooked heart cookies, a drinking straw, slightly beaten egg white, a heart-shape cookie cutter, a pastry brush, colored sugar, scissors, white paper, a pen, and narrow ribbon.

Poke two small holes near the top of each heart cookie with the drinking straw (see illustration). Brush one cookie with egg white and sprinkle it with colored sugar; then bake both cookies. Using the cookie cutter, trace two heart shapes onto white paper and cut them out. Make holes in the paper hearts to line up with the holes in the cookies. Decorate and write a message on one of the paper hearts. After the cookies have cooled, put the paper pages on top of the plain cookie, then place the sugared cookie on top. Tie with ribbon.

Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki