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Valentine Tea Cookies

Valentine Tea

Valentine’s Day – the Feast of St. Valentine – is a traditional time to celebrate human love as well as divine love. While little is known of the man who was martyred on February 14 in ancient Rome, legends and traditions have combined to make this day one for celebrating romantic love.

To celebrate this feast, expensive gifts, dinners out, and other romantic get-aways are not necessary. The critical element in celebrating Valentine’s Day is to spend time with friends, family or loved ones in pleasant activities. These cookies make a lovely afternoon “tea time” treat.  Be sure to make them ahead, so you can enjoy the time without stressing over their preparation!

Valentine Tea Cookies

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour (whole wheat or regular work fine)
a pinch of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 lemon

Cream the butter or margarine with the sugar. Add eggs, beating well. Add the grated rind of the lemon (or 1/4 teaspoon of dried rind) and 1 tablespoon of the lemon’s juice. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.

Cover dough with wax paper and chill for 3-4 hours or more. This is a very tender dough and must be very cold for the next step to work properly.

Roll dough thinly (to about 1/8 inch thickness). For best results, use a pastry cloth and covered rolling pin for this step. Cut into heart shapes and bake in a moderate oven (350º) for 7-10 minutes. (The length of baking time will vary based on the size of the cookies — smaller ones take less time.)

These cookies will be quite delicate. (Larger cookies may be rolled a bit thicker to make them less fragile.) They may be decorated with a soft icing if desired and, if the cookies are large enough, names written in the middle. Alternatively, colored sugar “sprinkles” added before baking make a delightful treat.

 

 

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