My daughters are having a couple of friends over soon for a "super fancy" Valentine's Day tea. I've been brainstorming about decorations, activities, and snacks. These teeny-tiny little tea cookies will be perfect. They're SO tiny (about 1.5" in diameter) that you can eat several before you've had the amount of a normal cookie. Which is great, because 4 cookies are always better than 1 cookie, right?!
This recipe starts much like a classic thumbprint cookie (and they do have that sweet little dab of frosting in the center), but you actually roll and cut them with cookie cutters instead of slicing them from a log.
I've also scaled down the recipe a bit so that it makes a more manageable amount (about 4-5 dozen tiny little cookies)!
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1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
4 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350.
Beat together sugar, butter, shortening, salt, and vanilla until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and milk. Mix until well incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Slowly add flour, 1 cup at a time. Dough will be very stiff. If the dough is TOO dry, add additional tablespoons of milk until you have a dough that is thick, but will hold together.
Divide dough into 3 or 4 parts. You want the dough to fit in your space when you're rolling it out! Roll the dough to about 1/2" thickness and cut using cookie cutters. We used the hearts from this set of Wilton mini cookie cutters. We have several sets of Wilton mini cookie cutters and use them ALL the time. They're so affordable and are great for making lunches, crackers, or cookies much more fun.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheets. This dough doesn't spread while baking, so you can place the cookies fairly close together.
To make the heart-shaped indent where your frosting will go, you'll press a heart shape first once before the cookies bake, and again when they're fresh out of the oven.
Press a pinky first one direction.
Press a pinky first one direction.
And then the other way.
Put in the oven to bake until the cookies are VERY light golden brown, 8-9 minutes.
When the cookies come out of the oven, you need to immediately press the heart shape again. Since I didn't want to burn my fingers, I used an oval shaped end of some oven tongs. Take a look through your kitchen drawers and see what you can find! You have to work fast-- these tiny cookies cool quickly and you need to do the pressing when they're still very soft from the oven.
Set on baking racks to cool completely. Next it's time for the frosting!
Ingredients1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
small pinch salt
Mix sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until your frosting reaches a thin consistency (suitable for drizzling). To make several shades of pink and red, I first added one drop of red food coloring to make a very light pink. Then I drizzled a small spoonful of frosting in the well of about a dozen cookies. Then I added one more drop of red food coloring, making the frosting a little darker. I did about 4 or 5 batches all together, until I ended with a rich red for the last cookies.
Let the frosting set until the top has hardened. They'll go great with a cup of tea or a nice glass of milk, and are just perfect for a Valentine's Day tea party!
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