My Sweet Valentines



I have always loved Valentine’s day but not because I have some grand Valentine’s memories or even expectations of doing anything special on the fourteenth. Since I have had children, I’ve spent every Valentine’s day at home where I make a special meal for them consisting of miniature heart shaped meat loaves, cinnamon love knot rolls, and french fries with ketchup squirted out into hearts on their plate.

I love Valentine’s day because ever since I was a little girl, when I start seeing hearts in pink and red appear in stores, I knew my birthday is coming. With birthdays come birthday money ~giggle and grin~ and that means guilt free shopping, which I got an early start on yesterday when I headed out to ye olde mall.  I am shuddering even now, though, as I recall what I saw there.

Folks, I hope you’re sitting down because I have to confirm something that, until yesterday, I had hoped was merely a rumor. As I was paying for my purchase at Belk’s, I turned to my left and saw day-glow pink high tops with contrasting neon yellow and black checked, super wide, shoe strings. If that wasn’t enough, next to that sat an assortment of neon ballet slippers with little bows on them (think Mootsies Tootsies). ~takes a deep breath~

Yes, my dear friends, the eighties are back.

I’ve heard it said that if you are old enough to have lived through a trend the first time it was in fashion, you are too old to indulge in it the second time. Lucky for y’all that means my can of Aqua Net shall remain retired. Man I was good at eighties hair, I mean REALLY good! I had a large stand fan I kept in my room just for my hair. I’d tease it out and stand with my head laying over on the side while spraying my “wings” in front of the fan, staying that way for several minutes while they dried.  ~sighs wistfully~.

So while I shall officially remain on the sidelines whilst the youngun’s take part in what they likely think is an original fashion trend ~eye roll~, I do want to wish them the best of luck. I hope it works out better for them than it did for us because, frankly, we all looked like idiots. See below photo for supporting evidence.

A friend from high school posted this on Facebook recently. See the wingy gal? Yup, thats me. Its a wonder I didn’t fly away when a stiff breeze came ’round…


Hmm, now where was I? Oh yeah..cookies. Y’all wanna make cookies, right? Well for goodness sakes, lets turn up the Cindi Lauper (or any other singer who wore FAR too much makeup – men included) and get crankin’!


You’ll need: Flour, Milk, Margarine, Baking Powder, Salt, Egg, and Vanilla. You can also use a drop or two of lemon oil if you have it (which I don’t but would add if I did).


Place your margarine in a bowl and add sugar.


Add baking powder


and salt


Mix until light and fluffy.


add milk

017and vanilla….

A note on vanilla: I don’t know many cooks who don’t swear by a certain brand or type of vanilla. There are any number of designer brands on the market.  Some are made in timbucktoo, some are extra pure or double strength, yadda yadda yadda. I have read the cookbooks that say you simply must, must, must use pure vanilla or make your own in order to achieve baking bliss and not humiliate yourself to anyone who takes a bite of your cookies. I’ve tried that vanilla, too.

I know that technically, its better. I know that with vanilla, you technically get what you pay for. Then again, I also know that, knowing all of this, I still buy the generic bottle that costs about a dollar a pop.

Ain’t got no complaints yet.


Did you notice that I used a double negative in that last sentence? I also used “ain’t”, which I actually don’t let my kids even say. Hard to believe I was a university English honors student, huh?

Just add your egg and lets not dwell on my downward slide…


Mix all of that up well.


Add flour

The recipe says to add gradually bit when have you ever known me to do anything gradually? Just toss it in there, it’ll be fine.


Scrape down the sides and make sure it is all mixed up well.


Now it has to be chiled for about half an hour. I like to put it in zipper bags for this. That way, if I get busy on other things and end up not having time to make the cookies, I can do them the following day or just pop that bag in the freezer for another day. Cookie dough freezes very well :).


After its nice and chilled, turn out onto floured surface. I always line mine with waxed paper for quicker cleanup.


Sprinkle some more flour over the top so it doesn’t stick to your rolling pin. I also get a handful of flour and run it along my rolling pin as well.


Roll it out to about 1/4″


Cut out your cookies and place on ungreased cookie sheets.

057Using a straw, poke two holes in each cookie.

058Sprinkle with coarse decorating sugar. I am using white sugar here but you can use whatever color you like. I just like how this adds a slight glistening while not detracting from the ribbon. Bake these at 375 for seven to eight minutes.


when they are done, while still on the cookie sheet, poke the holes again with the same straw. Let cool a few minutes and then remove from the cookie sheet to allow to cool entirely.

0611Cut a length of ribbon and thread through both holes.


Tie in a pretty bow :).

I came up with this idea from my own sick mind when my son was in Kindergarten. I made them for every member of the school staff that year.

This is proof that I really need to learn to shut my mind down from time to time.

Now look how pretty that is!

My Sweet Valentines
  • ⅔ C softened margarine
  • ¾ C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 C plain flour
  1. In large mixing bowl, add margarine, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well blended, light, and fluffy. Add milk, vanilla, and egg. Mix again. Add in flour and mix until well combined, scraping down the sides if need be. Chill dough for half an hour, or until easy to handle.
  2. On flour lined surface, turn out dough. Sprinkle with more flour. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness and cut with heart shaped cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and use a drinking straw to poke two holes in each heart. Bake at 375 for seven to eight minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Remove from oven and re-poke holes with straw. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to cool completely.
  3. Cut lengths of ribbon (experiment until you get the right length to make a pretty bow) and thread through cooled cookies, tying into a bow.
  4. *Note: These aren't very sweet cookies. If you want a sweeter cookie, be more generous with your coarse sugars sprinkled over the top.

For more recipes your kids will love, visit the Southern Plate Kids Category here!

If you ever feel lost, defeated, or as if you have made a mistake so grave there is no way to recover,

“Just do the next right thing.”

~ Pastor John Dees.


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  1. Wendy says

    I’m with you, I just love all the reds & pinks at Valentines Day. Your cookies look so pretty, but I have to confess that when you put the ribbon through the holes I thought maybe you were going to stack them together and tie them with one long ribbon. I know I would want more than one of these cookies:)

  2. Rita says

    ’83 HS grad here! I LOVED the 80’s – some of my best memories ; – ) I haven’t noticed any of the looks coming back in yet (except leg warmers a few years ago – which I did have way back when). I’ll be keeping my eyes out for it though. And what is wrong w/your hair Christy! Beautiful woman then and now. I was never crazy about the straight look for me – my hair always looks better fuller – though I doubt I could carry the same look now and not look pathetic! ; – )

  3. Aimee says

    Love the simplicity of the cookies with ribbon!
    As for the 80’s…I went to an event in Southern AL this last week end and you can only imagine my shock at seeing women who appeared to be perfectly sane walk around in pretty semi formal dresses, great shoes and FOOTLESS tights (aka leggings)! I used to ROCK that look complete with a pink stripe in my hair…

    • says

      Love the hair, I think all my photos of my hair looking like that I burned….but what happens when friends start posting them! Oh well!
      I am a firm believer in what you say about using “what you have” and generics. Having said that I must comment on the vanilla remark…..several years ago ( 2 or 3) I splurged and bought some vanilla beans, they were not the really long or fancy but cost me about 20 dollars. I then went to the liquor store( I hoped that none of my pre-k students saw me) and got a big ol bottle of vodka. I made about 10 big bottles of vanilla. I used those amber colored ones that I had been saving from all my other vanilla. and canning jars. Since then I have only had to refill my bottle, let it sit for a couple of months and I have more terrific vanilla. I don’t think I will ever have to buy it again. I bake alot and it has ended up been cheaper in the long run. Sorry about the length, just wanted to share! Can’t wait to make these heart cookies with my homemade vanilla!

  4. Alison Arsenault says

    These look good, I agree that I would use red string licorice so that everything is edible.
    Re the hair- you looked great, just perfect for the time, I grew up with the beehive and bubbles, then there was the pixie cut, now there were hairdos. LOL

  5. Renee Brown says

    I love to make cookies and this recipe ROCKS! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!! We have given out as V-Day gifts and now I can’t wait until Christmas cause I have all kinds of ideas! Thank you so much for sharing!


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