So, there it is: Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I disliked it for quite some time. I found it way to commercial, a slap in the face for singles and all those pink and red and hearts everywhere, they were, well they were just not for me 😉 I also never really liked hearts somehow, I guess they were just too kitschy? Saying that, I even told my boyfriend in the beginning that I would’t like hearts and all that sort of forced romantic things… Years later, still in the same relationship (with the most amazing boyfriend of course Happy Valentine’s Day!) I think I am finally getting over my issues with hearts. So, there, I said it. I even go one step further and show it openly! By making heart-shaped stained glass cookies and decorated sugar cookies. Now, how kitschy is that 😛 (And sorry for all of you who still don’t like Valentine… just ignore this post ;))
I was actually planning on making some stained glass as decorations for my Christmas Cupcakes last year, but unfortunately time was running by so quickly last Christmas, that somehow I wasn’t able to bring them up… So I more or less needed a reason to finally try out this really cool technique. And instead of just sitting on a cupcake, I wanted to put them inside a cookie! A heart-shaped cookie of course, as it happens that I own two different sized heart cutters (how is that possible?). Well anyway, it was quite an experience, and honestly I think the result it pretty cool, but see for yourself 🙂
I was quite critical whether this would really work or not, but actually it wasn’t that difficult at all! Just crush the lollipop (it actually felt quite strange to destroy this lovely heart-y lollipop, just for making other hearts?! But at least I made many hearts out of that one heart. Wow that was pretty philosophical, wasn’t it?) and once you have made the cookie give the crushed lollipop into the hole of the cookie and bake it for a couple of minutes. The candy will begin to bubble, and the cookie just turns slightly golden. The only thing I was a bit disappointed is that many of the bubbles actually stayed, once the cookies cooled down… I am not sure whether there is a trick to get rid of the bubbles? Well, anyhow I started to like them 😛 Oh and by the way, please don’t be so stupid as someone around here and crush the lollipop on your new wooden working surface… *holes*
- For the cookie dough, I creamed some butter with white and soft brown sugar and when fluffy added some vanilla and one large egg.
- I sifted the flour with some salt and baking powder and added it slowly to the butter-sugar-egg mixture.
- The mixture will look pretty crumbly, but I used a little trick. I just put everything into a plastic freezer bag and start kneading the dough until combined into one ball (goes really quickly, just squeeze the dough here and there and voila, dough ball!). It may not be the most elegant way to do so, but definitive the quickest and it always works.
Now it really depends on your preference… I like to get started right away with the dough and work really quick. Therefore I flour my working surface slightly and put some clingfilm on top of the dough, just to prevent it to stick on to the rolling pin. One thing I really couldn’t miss anymore are my wooden blocks in different sizes to make sure all my cookies have the same height and bake evenly. I can highly recommend them!
You could of course also first chill the dough in the fridge for half an hour and than start rolling and baking, but as I mentioned that is a matter of your own preference 😉
- Cut out the cookies by using a big heart cutter and with a smaller cutter cut out a heart (or any other shape you wish) in the middle of the cookie.
- Fill the holes of the cookies with the crushed lollipop and distribute them evenly.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 6-8 minutes at 180°C (160°C in a fan oven)
- Let them cool for at least 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
- Prepare some royal icing (the amount of ingredients listed for royal icing is enough for both, the stained glass and the brushed cookies) and decorate your glass-stained cookies with some dots or lines or just as you like them 🙂
As I ran out of lollipop I decided to bake the small and big left-over hearts anyway and to decorate them instead pretty with the royal icing I still had left (which was lots). I colored half of the icing pink and the other half I left white. The big hearts got a pink royal icing coat and the small ones I colored white. Then I used the white icing to decorate my big pink hearts by using a technique which I had seen at the Wilton website and wanted to try it ever since. Now seemed the time right time, so why not? It actually wasn’t that hard as I imagined and it took me only about half an hour to get all my cookies ready, which is I think pretty neat. OK, I have to admit that my cookies are not as beautiful as those from Wilton, obviously… But I am not really an icing expert and in fact just got my first real piping bag this week yeah. So, in the end not only my cookies were pink and white, but also I was covered from head to foot, my kitchen obviously, the floor, the table… well you get the idea 😉 All in all I think that my first attempt is not that bad and I quite like them (and my boyfriend did, and that is the most important thing, right).
Apologies for the bad pictures... Obviously my boyfriend (the photographer) wasn't at hand when I made these, so I had to try myself... First bad attempt, but I was promised a Photography lecture now by him ;)
The technique is not that hard, just make sure that your icing has dried up before beginning to pipe your lines of white icing onto them. Try to pipe nice think little curves, as I find that more easier to work with. Than in the middle of the line start with your brush and brush the icing down the cookie. If you are quick you could pipe the whole line of curves around the cookie, but in the beginning I found it easier to do it in parts. Once the outside of the cookie is finished make another smaller round in the center of the cookie. That just gives it the finished touch. Also make sure you clean your brush in between piping, as it will otherwise start to go lumpy.
For the little hearts I decided to just paint some pink dots into the wet white icing. Just make sure that the white icing is still a bit wet and that the consistency of the pink icing is a bit fluid. Otherwise it won’t melt into each other nicely. The brush embroidery technique just would have looked too crowded at these little hearts I thought. What do you think?
Happy Valentine’s Day
Our Valentine's Dinner Table <3
Makes about 40 glass stained cookies, 30 big and 40 small heart Cookies
- 100g soft butter
- 100g sugar
- 50g soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 300g flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
For the royal icing
- 2 egg whites
- 330g icing sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- some red food color