I love Valentine's Day. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved getting out the red & pink paper, lace doilies, scissors and glue so that I could make my friends Valentine's day cards. (More on card-making in another post.) I have continued to do this into adulthood. Valentine's Day has never been about romance for me, or great expectations from a man (tho' I have a remarkable husband); it has always been about celebrating my friends and family. Therefore, one of the traditions that I did with my mum was making gingerbread Valentine's Day cookies. My mum passed away a little over two years ago, but she is with me every time I pull out her gingerbread cookie recipe. Since I had a snow day today (i.e., no school), I decided to make my mum's gingerbread cookies so that I can share them with my book club buddies tomorrow night. Although the cookies are delicious without icing, they really become a standout with it. Here's the recipe: Mum's Gingerbread Cookies Makes 4 dozen cookies 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 egg 1/2 cup molasses 1 tablespoon vinegar 3 cups flour 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons ginger 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon cinnamon candies ("red hots") red icing (Betty Crocker Decorating Cake Icing) 1. Cream together butter, sugar & salt. Sir in egg, molasses & vinegar. 2. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add to the molasses mixture & mix well. 3. Chill the dough for 3-4 hours before using. 4. Roll dough to about 1/8 inch on a lightly floured board. 5. Cut out with cookie cutters. Handle the dough gently. Place about 1" apart on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Press in cinnamon candies. 6. Bake in moderately hot oven, 375 degrees F, for about 8 minutes. Cool slightly before moving from baking sheets. 7. When cool, frost trim with icing. Note: Some of my favorite baking tools are the Pampered Chef Mini-Serving Spatula & Stonewall Kitchen's Tapered Rolling Pin. If you notice the cute label on my flour jar, I got that and others online under "Free Printables" at The Painted Hive.