I don't think that I was a particularly ugly child or teenager. I'd probably rate myself a three or four out of ten perhaps taking off some points for the fact that I grew up in the 80s and points must inevitably be deducted for bad hair choices and suspect clothing selections.
Still, I never got a single Valentines Day card.
In my albeit weak defence I went to an all girl's school but I think that defence can only work so far. I'd hear of girls at school that would receive cards and I would go home and check the letterbox to find that nothing arrived for me. Come to think of it my friends didn't get any either (and before you ask, I wasn't good enough at Maths to be in the nerdy/geeky group, we were strictly middle of the range) but I did feel like I was missing out on things a bit.
Fast forward to a decade later when I was in my 20s and I also felt the same slight twinge at missing out on pick up lines. You always hear of appalling pick up lines issued forth from randy, drunken men but I have to say that I've never actually had a really bad one delivered to me. In fact if I sift through my memory I can't remember hearing many colourful or memorable ones at all. Men bragging about their assets seems comparatively boring in comparison (or perhaps I am just hanging out with the wrong crowd?). I mean surely I'm not that pickup line unworthy am I? Perhaps I am! The truth hurts...
The original inspiration for these cookies was when I saw this letter set at Swedish stationery store Kikki K while Christmas shopping. I promptly put it onto my Christmas shopping list and my secret santa (aka Mr NQN's aunt Sisko) bought it for me for Christmas. I knew immediately that I wanted to bake some love letter cookies. To make up for my utter lack of love letters you do see. They were terribly easy to make and all of the work is in the stamps themselves. I should think you could even make a mini version with some stamps and those square morning coffee biscuits should you want to send your beloved a last minute love letter. The cookies are my usual cut out cookie recipe that rolls and rerolls easily and I've flavoured these with the heart warming aroma of cinnamon and vanilla. I gave mine to Mr NQN who was actually lucky enough to have received a Valentines day card in his teenage years. sighLooks like it might just be me that missed out!
So tell me Dear Reader, what is the worst pick up line you've ever heard? And did you ever get Valentines Day cards?
Love Letter Cookies
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Makes 4-5 cookies. You can halve or even quarter the recipe if you beat the egg and use a scale to weigh 1/4 of the egg but I figure you may as well bake a big lot and you can just eat the rest!
85 g/3ozs butter, softened
140g/5ozs white caster superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
180g/6ozs all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Food colouring gels or liquids in various colours
Royal icing mixture (see below)
White fondant icing
Red fondant icing
Cornflour/cornstarch for dusting
Assorted stamps (these were from Kikki K.)
Kopykake edible writing pens (from Little Betsy Baker)
Small edible heart decorations
Step 1 - Make cookies. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour and cinnamon. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Cut out large rectangles (mine were 14 x 8cms)
Step 2 - Preheat oven to200C/ 400F. Roll out dough on between two sheets of cling wrap until 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into rectangular shapes with a knife trying not to drag the knife along the edge. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
Step 3 - Sprinkle some cornflour (cornstarch) on a clean surface and roll out the white fondant. Cut it to the cookie size and adhere it with a light brush of water onto the base of the cookie if the surface is a little lumpy. Stamp the cookie firmly with the stamps ensuring to flour then beforehand and write your paramour's name on them in the edible pen! Tada!