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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Butterfly Cookies Step by Step Tutorial

These cookies are iced using the ‘Outlining and Flooding’ technique which is simple to learn. The outline works as a dam or wall to hold the runny icing which you use to fill in the main parts of the cookie.


Buttery Sugar Cookies Recipe click here
Cookie Leveller click here


Royal Icing Recipe click here
Traditionally a thicker consistancy icing is used to outline the cookie shape and then a thinner one to fill in. I have come to prefer using the same icing to outline and flood my cookies because it saves time preparing and filling icing bags twice for each colour.
Outlining
Outline your cookies first and leave at least 15 minutes before you flood the inside of the ‘dam’ (outline). If the outline is a dark colour as here, it is best to wait 24 hours so that the colours don’t bleed into each other.

Sweetopia

To outline the cookie hold the bag at 45 degrees and position the tip on your cookie. Put enough pressure on the bag so that the icing comes out and you can start moving in the direction that you want your icing to go. Start lifting the pipping bag till it is a few centimetres above your cookie and the icing just falls in a continuous line onto the cookie below. Come back closer to the cookie at corners and when finishing also reduce or stop pressure on the bag to go more slowly or to stop.

Flooding
Use a number 3,4 or 5 sized piping tip depending on the size of your cookie. Fill in one area at a time quickly zig zagging back and forth. Don’t worry if you haven’t filled in every spot: speed is more important at this point. To fill in these little missed bits just use your piping tip, toothpick or small paintbrush (used only for food), to push the icing into your missed bits.

Decorating
To colour the wings by ‘melding’ several colours into each other then you must do it straight away. The base layer starts to dry quickly so you need to add your next colours as fast as possible.

Sweetopia

Add two black lines of icing with a contracting colour in-between then drag through the lines with a cocktail stick or a pin. Have a look at some pictures of real butterflies to get an idea of what it is that you want to achieve.

The ‘eye’ of the butterfly is then made by layering a few coloured dots on top of each other, with the black as the final coloured dot.

Storing
Let the cookies dry for 24 hours before you package them.
Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place out of the sun (sunlight can fade the colours). The cookies can keep for up to 3 months but I prefer to use them up within a month.

I would like to thank Sweetopia for the original idea and for 3 images.

Happy Valentine’s Day Cookies Tutorial



Here is another treat for you to make for your loved one this Valentine’s day!


These cookies are not difficult to make and are decorated with Royal Icing and can be as simple or elaborate as you like.
 
I now use this gorgeous recipe for all my cookies. The cream cheese gives them a lovely flavour and texture and the consistency of the dough makes it easy to cut out shapes with cutters.
 
Buttery Sugar Cookies
250g softened butter
85g of softened cream cheese
150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
510g (3 cups) plain flour
Cream butter and cream cheese using K beater until light and fluffy. Add sugar egg & vanilla. Beat at a medium speed scraping down the side of the bowl often until creamy.
Reduce speed to low and add flour, beat very lightly until combined again scraping down the bowl.



Divide dough into 2 equal portions and wrap in plastic warp and refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours). Or place in freezer for when you need them.The dough can last up to a week in a airtight container…they do go a little soft, but suppose to be like that…(not a crunchy biscuit)
Heat oven to 160 (fan). Sometimes I even lower the temp to 150, they don’t take long to cook, just enough so when you lightly touch them they do not make an indent in the cookie.


 Roll out dough on baking paper. 



Cut out cookies and bake for 7 to 10 mins until edges are very lightly browned. 

Click here to find out how to make and use my cookie dough leveller!
 


Remove from cooking sheets and cool completely on wire 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 white


method
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 2 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.


Suggested timeline for making the Valentine’s Day Cookies:
Day One – Baking
Day Two – Outlining, filling, and letting cookies dry overnight.
Day Three – Detail piping


These lovely little cookies last for ages, just keep on eating the odd one to make sure the rest are fresh, LOL! Remember to keep them out of strong sunlight so that the colours don’t fade.
 
Another little artwork to brighten up your day!

Hannah Montana Cake

  1. I used the Planet Cake recipe for dark chocolate Mud Cake then torted and covered it in dark chocolate ganache also from Planet Cake. Click here for Planet Cake Recipe for dark chocolate mud cake.
  2. I covered the cake in white sugar paste from Bakels and covered the board with it in one go i.e. I cut out a circle of sugar paste that would cover the cake and the board then just shaped it all to fit with my hands. and made the bow using a tutorial on YouTube.
  3. I found an image of Hannah Montana on Google images and also the Hannah Montana logo. Using Photoshop I put the two images together and used ‘Stroke’ to make 3 pink outlines around her to match the colours in the cake. Click here to find those images.
  4. For ‘Lexi’ I picked a font on Photoshop and curved it then printed it out. Next I traced the letters onto tracing paper and used a pin to transfer the outline onto the cake. I piped the outline in pink Royal Icing using a No 1 nozzle and flooded the centres using a larger nozzle.
  5. Flowers and stars were made from sugar paste using small metal cutters and piped on top with white Royal Icing dots. The covered wires were inserted into the flowers and stars before they dried.
  6. Finally I trimmed the edge of the cake board with matching pink satin ribbon attaching it all the way round with very thin double sided sticky tape used by scrap-bookers.

This cake was 7″ diameter and looked really cute and girl