Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Conversation Heart Cookies

It's Thursday today but I'm feeling unusually refreshed. Yesterday we (New Zealand) had a public holiday so I finally got a day off in the middle of the week.

This has made me think I am made for part-time work.

Too bad there's that little thing called money that we so desperately need, ah well I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles (heh!) speaking of cookies, I managed to whip up a batch of these cute sugar cookies in anticipation for Valentines day.

Conversation Heart Cookies

I know I'm getting in early but I just can't wait to show you this tutorial on how to decorate these loved up cookies!

I'm not even sure if many people actually celebrate Valentines here in New Zealand.

I know it's very American and oh so cheesy but there's something cute and fun about a day focused on showing your other half just how much they mean, especially when it's in the form of food.

Conversation Heart CookiesConversation Heart Cookies

Royal Icing Recipe

Ingredients:
3 T Meringue Powder (you can get this from speciality baking stores)
4 C Icing Sugar
5-6 T Lukewarm Water
  • Sift meringue powder and icing sugar into a medium sized bowl.
  • Add 4 Tablespoons of water to the mixture and mix on a medium speed until mixture is looking lumpy.
  • Add the remaining water and beat on high for 7-10 minutes (this is when a stand alone mixer comes in handy) until it looses its sheen.
Royal Icing Notes:
Royal Icing is a kind of meringuey icing which means everything you work with needs to be oil free.
There are different consistencies of royal icing, when you first make it up it is at the stiff consistency and the more water you add to it the runnier it gets. So when you want to fill up a space on a cookie you will want to outline it first with the stiff consistency icing then "flood" the cookies with the runny consistency.

Conversation Heart Cookies

Piping the Outline

You will need:
Royal Icing (stiff consistency)
Gel colouring of your choice
Toothpicks
Small bowl or cup
Teaspoon
Damp teatowel
Piping bag and couplers
#2 Tip (or small writing tip)
Glass of water
Small paintbrush (one that is food safe or not been used on paint before)
  • Prepare piping bag before using and fit with a #2 tip.
  • Spoon half a cup of royal icing into a small bowl or cup and tint with gel colouring using the toothpick, remember this is very concentrated so you won't need much.
  • Once you have the colour you want spoon royal icing into piping bag. If you have any remaining icing, cover with a damp teatowel.
  • Pipe the outline of your cookie.
  • Touch up your outline using a small amount of water on your paintbrush and lightly dabbing the icing. You will find that you can slightly move the icing around and can even out marks and the joins, just make sure to work quickly as the icing dries quickly!
  • When you are not using your piping bag, place it into the damp teatowel to ensure the tip does not dry up in the end. You can also place a damp paper towel in a tall glass and hold the piping bag in the glass, face down.

Conversation Heart Cookies
Conversation Heart CookiesConversation Heart Cookies

Flooding

You will need:
Royal Icing (stiff consistency, in the same colour as your outline)
Water
Teaspoon
Squeeze bottle or piping bag fitted with #3 tip.
Damp teatowel
Toothpicks
  • Add water in small amounts (about half a teaspoon) until it reaches the 10 second consistency. This is where the icing sinks back into itself completely when you pick it up and drop it on itself while you count to 10. If it takes longer than that it is still too stiff, if it takes less time then it is too runny.
  • Fill squeeze bottle or piping bag with runny icing and pipe into the middle of the cookie.
  • Using a toothpick, spread the icing to the edges of the cookie to attach to the outline.
  • Gently tap the cookie to release any air.
  • Pop air bubbles with a clean pin or toothpick.
  • Remember to place your piping bag or squeeze bottle in a damp cloth to avoid it drying up and clogging up.
  • Leave icing to dry and harden up for approximately 1 hour before piping words on top.

Conversation Heart CookiesConversation Heart Cookies
Conversation HeartsConversation Heart Cookies

Writing

You will need:
Royal Icing (stiff consistency)
Gel colouring of your choice (I used rose)
Toothpicks
Small bowl or cup
Teaspoon
Damp teatowel
Piping bag and couplers
#1 Tip (or small writing tip)
Glass of water
Small paintbrush (one that is food safe or not been used on paint before)
  • Prepare piping bag before using and fit with a #1 tip.
  • Spoon half a cup of royal icing into a small bowl or cup and tint with gel colouring using the toothpick, remember this is very concentrated so you won't need much.
  • Once you have the colour you want spoon royal icing into piping bag. If you have any remaining icing, cover with a damp teatowel.
  • Pipe words in the centre of the cookie. Of course you can write whatever you like, I went with classic conversation heart phrases: Love you, I <3 U, cutie pie, xoxo, kiss me, I'm yours, hug me, hot stuff, be mine and true love.
  • Touch up your writing using a small amount of water on your paintbrush and lightly dabbing the icing. You will find that you can slightly move the icing around and can even out marks and the joins, just make sure to work quickly as the icing dries quickly!
  • When you are not using your piping bag, place it into the damp teatowel to ensure the tip does not dry up in the end. You can also place a damp paper towel in a tall glass and hold the piping bag in the glass, face down.

Conversation Heart CookiesConversation Heart Cookies

So whether you're spending the day with a bottle of wine and your cats or taking "totes adorbs" Instagrams of the ice-cream you and yours are eating together, have a wonderful Valentines from me, Mr S and Pecan xoxo.

2 comments :

  1. They look totally Fab Lydz, I bet they taste as good as they look too!!
    Making me feel all lovey-dovey in the run up to V-Day! Lou x

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  2. Man you must have the patience of a saint - & a steady hand! You can tell I'm not a baker, I couldn't be bothered with any of that fuss. Also, Paul & I don't do V-Day so it's a non-event.

    I do love reading about baking though, & seeing everyone's creations - I'll just live vicariously through you, ok? :D

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