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Valentine Sugar Cookies with Pink Beet Icing

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! I've never been one to hold too much stock in the Hallmark holiday, but I do relish in the little celebrations and decorations associated to it. I show my love best through food and so I took some time this week to whip up a batch of sugar cookies for my Valentine! Being able to incorporate veggies into the frosting is just an added bonus! The idea of using beets for colouring was inspired by my instagram post from last Valentine's Day - a heart shaped beet! It seems that V-day and beets just go hand in hand!

I have been making this particular sugar cookie recipe for over seventeen years now. It never fails, is easy to make, the cookies are deliciously soft and are a great treat for any holiday! The difference this year is all in the frosting. Valentine's Day requires hearts, and those hearts need to be pink! Luckily, I am a farmer who has an abundance of beets, an entire arsenal of either pickled or frozen roots whose juices add the perfect pop of colour to any icing! It isn't anything new, people have been using beets to create a dye for years, centuries even. And if you've ever peeled a beet, you'll know just how easy it is to stain your hands that vibrant hot pink colour. In an attempt to eat more natural foods, I like having an option to create those pinky hues without having to use red food dye. You can attain the bright colour by either juicing a small beet, or just use 2 tbsp of the juice from a jar of pickled beets. I can assure you that since it is such a small amount, and the icing is already so sweet, there isn't a strange taste. With my CSA boxes I am constantly trying to find new and unique ways of using veggies, and I can't help but think that this beet frosting would be a perfect addition to my roster!

To be completely honest, I'm not much of a baker, but I do like to celebrate with a special treat! Both my mom and my sister are incredible bakers with bread, muffins, or cookies constantly coming out of the oven. I find it to be a lot of work, and since I don't have much of a sweet tooth, it isn't something I do very often. With that being said, I love to cook! Savoury meals with your favourite person can't be beat so you can bet there's also going to be a roast in the oven this weekend! Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cup icing sugar

1 cup margarine, softened

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

Mix icing sugar and margarine together. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Set aside. Mix together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add to sugar mixture. Mix well and form into a ball. Chill for 2 to 3 hours.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface and cut out with cookie cutters. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375F for 7-8 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove to racks and allow to fully cool before decorating.

Pink Beet Frosting

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 cups icing sugar

2 tbsp beet juice

Cream together butter and icing sugar. Add beet juice and mix well.

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