Valentine’s Day Heart Cookies

Things on hand:
• Piping bags
Plain piping tips (I used Ateco #3 for the background and a #00 for the dots)
Gel food color (I used Americolor Super Red, Ivory, Super Black, and Electric Pink)
Plaque shaped cookie cutter (or any shape you like)

Things you’ll need to make:
 Plaque shaped sugar cookies
• Red, ivory, pink, and black royal icing in a medium/flood consistency

This is what I knew: I wanted to make Valentine’s Day cookies. Here’s what I didn’t know: what shape, color or design I wanted to do. If you’ve ever decorated cookies, you know how ridiculously labor-intensive it can be, so “winging it” isn’t really in the cards most of the time. Yet, there I was, diving right in with no plan.

One thing I did know was what shape I wanted, so I set off baking some sugar cookies using my new favorite plaque shaped cookie cutter. Almost any round or rectangular shape cookie will do if you’d like to make cookies like these.

Using a medium/fill consistency, fill the background of the cookies in solid colors. An Ateco #3 plain round tip was used to outline and fill the cookies. I chose ivory, super black (with a hint of royal blue) and super red for my royal icing colors, for bold colors.

Let the background royal icing dry completely overnight.

Once dry, it’s time to add the simple, polka dotted hearts for the final design. Ateco #00 plain round tips were used for the dots. With this design, you can use the same royal icing that was used for the background colors, as I’ve done here, with addition of pink. I used a teeny tiny dab of electric pink to white royal icing to achieve this light pink color.

First, add a heart shape in the center of the cookie, using different size dots. The different size dots are achieved with adding different amounts of pressure on your piping bag. Need a small dot? Just touch down the tip and give the bag the slightest squeeze. Need a larger dot? Touch the tip down and squeeze the piping bag with a bit more pressure, until you get the size of dot you want.

Once you have a basic heart outline, fill in the center with more dots of different sizes. Keep the dots close enough so the heart shape stands out, but not so close the dots run together into one big blob.

After you have the basic heart shape, use a different color royal icing and add two rows of dots all around. Repeat with another color of your choice.

Or, hey, mix it up and keep leave some of your cookies with just the basic heart. Follow your… err… heart.

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