These cookies are not only delicious and look like they come from a fine bake-shop, but the dough recipe is one-bowl and no-mixer!
Add the flour and corn starch. Stir until dry ingredients are incorporated and the dough is shaggy.
Generously flour a work surface. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and press into a ball. Knead 5-6 times times until fairly smooth, then form into a ball again and press with your hands into a flat disk. Turn the disk to coat both sides with flour.
Place cutouts in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375˚F. Remove 1 pan of cutouts from the refrigerator and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden at the edges. Rotate pans halfway through for even browning. Repeat with second pan of cutouts. Cool completely before icing.
For the glaze, combine powdered sugar, half and half and extract in a medium-size bowl. Mix until smooth. Glaze should be thick, but pourable. Add a little more half and half if too thick. Taste the glaze and add more extract, if more intense flavor is desired.
Transfer the glaze to a shallow bowl. To glaze the cookies, hold onto the edge of a cookie and dip the top surface into the glaze, being sure all of the top surface touches the glaze. Pull cookie straight up and out of the glaze. Allow excess glaze to drip back into the bowl for about 15-20 seconds. When glaze stops dripping, quickly flip the cookie to the right side up and give it a gentle jiggle to allow the glaze to flow evenly over the surface. Repeat with remaining cookies. Allow glaze to dry for 15-30 minutes.
For the buttercream piping, place butter in a medium-size bowl and stir until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons half and half and extract and stir vigorously until smooth, adding a bit more half and half if needed to achieve a thick, but smooth consistency. Add food coloring, a drop at a time, to reach desired shade.
10. Make an outline on the top of each cookie with a small heart-shaped cookie cutter. Pipe around the outline with buttercream. Then, starting at the top, fill in the heart with diagonal, back and forth lines (see pictures above). Immediately sprinkle with nonpareils of choice. Set aside to dry.
See Café Tips above for lots of extra tips and detailed instructions.
This recipe makes a dozen large (3-inch) or two dozen smaller (2-inch) cookies.