Children will LOVE making these scrumptious biscuits in time for Valentine's Day on February 14 and they're so easy that you can practically put your feet up and let them get on with it.
All you need is:
A heart-shaped cookie cutter
150g of butter
75g of caster sugar
225g of plain flour
half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
Plus some icing sugar and pink or red food colouring to decorate the finished product.
Preheat the oven to 170°C / 375F or Gas mark 5.
Cut the butter into small squares then add the sugar and flour and rub all the ingredients together until you have a dough-like consistency. (Chocoholics could leave out the vanilla extract and add a small bar of finely chopped or grated chocolate instead.)
Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling film and pop it in the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes. While you're waiting you could grease your baking sheet or prepare a clean surface with lots of flour for cutting out your cookies - otherwise little people might lose interest at this stage. Or why not have some card and pens to hand and make some Valentine's cards together while you're waiting?
Next simply roll the dough out on a floured surface until it's about half a centimetre thick. Using your heart-shaped cookie cutter cut out your biscuits and lay them on a lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the biscuits turn a light golden colour. Leave them to cool on a wire rack. (In our house we always like to use the leftover little bits of dough to make tiny biscuits so we've got some to eat warm from the oven while we wait for the others to cool!)
When the biscuits are completely cool mix together some icing sugar, pink or red food colouring and a little warm water and let your little people go to town, drizzling icing on top and decorating the iced biscuits with sweets, sprinkles or silver balls.
If you don't fancy the icing part (although that's arguably the bit children love most) just sprinkle some icing sugar into a sieve and lightly dust over the tops of your biscuits.
With older children you could try spelling out I LOVE YOU in icing on individual biscuits or use silver balls to spell out the initials of the object of your affection - we're big fans of literacy activities that you can eat!
Leave to set and then enjoy with the people you love most. And of course you can cook these biscuits any time - just use different cut outs and ring the changes with decorations.
Check out more easy Valentine's Day recipes to make with the kids here.