Valentine Heart Cookies Tutorial

This year I made my Valentine Heart Cookies from gingerbread. I did this as I will be selling them at Pottsville Beach Markets on Sunday 5th February 2012 and the biscuits will have to keep for a couple of weeks. Gingerbread easily keeps for a month in cello bags and is my best choice but if you would rather make a Buttery Sugar Cookie recipe then click here.
 
 

Gingerbread Cookies

90g butter
150g soft brown sugar
90g golden/corn syrup
425g Plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp mixed spice
1 medium egg (beaten)
Gently heat butter, sugar and syrup until dissolved.. Cool slightly for five mins.
Pre-heat oven 180C and lightly grease baking trays.
Sift flour, baking powder and spices tog into mixing bowl and make a well in centre.
Add melted mixture and egg into the centre. Bind tog with knife then use hands to form soft dough.
Sprinkle work surface with flour and roll out the gingerbread to 3mm (1/8in).
Bake in centre of oven for 13 mins.
Transfer cooked gingerbread to a cooling rack.
Outline and fill the cookies at the same time using RI (Royal Icing) with a number 2 piping nozzle and remember that RI takes 24 hours to set.
Royal icing
Traditional royal icing is made with real egg white, however, because of the slight chance of salmonella poisoning, I now prefer to use dried egg white instead.
20g (3/4 oz) dried egg white
90ml (2.5fl oz) cold water
500g (1lb 2 0z) icing sugar
method
Mix egg white and water in a bowl until smooth.
Sieve the icing sugar into a grease free bowl.
Tip in the egg mixture and beat on the slowest speed for 5 mins until the icing stands up in peaks.


Planet Cake Royal Icing using real egg whites.
250-300g pure icing sugar, sifted
2-4 drops acetic acid (white vinegar)
1 egg whitemethod
Beat icing sugar, acetic acid and egg white with electric beater on medium-high speed for 4 minutes for ‘soft peak’. Add extra sugar if the icing is too soft.
Achieving the right consistency for Royal Icing can be difficult but practise makes perfect, so if icing is too thick or too thin just empty your piping bag and add more water/vinegar or icing sugar. You will soon work it out.

Place icing in airtight plastic bowl with a lid. Lay a piece of cling film directly on top of the icing and replace the lid.

DONT put the cookies in an airtight container until they are set (24 hours to set) need the air to help dry out.

Pipe on your designs once the cookies are set using a number 1 piping nozzle. If you would like to use my designs then click on the image above to enlarge and then copy the same or similar on your cookies. For the straight lines, in particular, touch the cookie with the nozzle at the beginning and end of line only, pulling your line of icing in the air. This way you get the straightest line possible. For the heart-shaped outlines you sort of hold the nozzle above your cookie and let the icing gently fall/glide into place. Do not drag the nozzle along the cookie surface at any time. Very few of my cookies are identical as I adapt my designs as I go. Feel free to experiment. If you would like to make these cookies using a Buttery Sugar Cookie recipe then click here.
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