It's Valentines Day today and I cannot resist a holiday to do some holiday baking. Another excuse to work on my skills and take the afternoon to myself. The sugar cookie recipe I used for these cookies is my go to, however, I found that with such a large cookie cutter they became way too big while they baked. However, Dave saved them by cutting them out again with the cookie cutter, making them the perfect heart.
After baking and cooling them completely I got to do the most fun part, the icing. I usually stick to my tried and true buttercream but as I want to improve my baking skills and make more difficult things I decided to go for the flooding technique. I made royal icing, which it turns out is very simple to do and I dyed the icing three different colours while leaving some white for the writing. You can see the cookie and icing recipe I used and how they turned out below. Hope you're inspired to bake some treats for your sweetheart. Happy baking!
Recipe for Sugar Cutouts:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla (or if you are me, a capful)
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Cream butter, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add vanilla extract and milk and beat until combined. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until combined.
- Form the dough into 2 balls and wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate over night. (Or if you are impatient like I sometimes am, put in the freezer for a few hours).
- When you are ready to start the baking process, preheat oven to 375 degrees. You can either lightly butter your baking sheet or use parchment paper (which I always do). Allow the dough to warm up or else it will be too hard to roll out, then roll to about 1/8" thick. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes. Place cookies on cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes depending on cookie size. I always make sure they are slightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely before icing.
Recipe for Royal Icing:
- 2 egg whites
- 3ish cups of icing sugar
- food colouring if desire
- Beat egg whites in mixer until they appear to be frothy. Add icing sugar and mix until combined. It should have a shiny appearance to it.
- Separate icing into bowls and add food colouring to them. Mix until the colour is even and what you are looking for.
- The key to flooding is to have the right consistency for the icing. This was hard for me at the start. I added too much water and had to go back and add more icing sugar. What you are looking for is something that will pipe on easily but not too liquidy or else you will get it everywhere and it won't stay on your cookies.
- Once your icing is ready, add to piping bag. I used three different piping bags for my colours as to not mix colours. First step is to make an outline around your cookie then fill the outline. Don't overdo it but you want enough to cover the cookie. I used a skewer (I had no toothpicks at home) to get the icing to meet the edges without over filling them. If you have any air bubbles the skewer comes in handy, you should poke them out so that the icing can cover completely. Last step is to tap the cookie lightly on a clean surface so the icing can lay flat and even all over your cookie.
- Let the icing dry completely. Do not move to another surface because if it bends the icing will crack. (This happened to me!) I let my icing sit over night before I added the sayings in white icing on top. Voila, they are done and delicious and will definitely impress your Valentine!