So I am about a month late in posting this, but I made these cookies as gifts for Valentine’s day, and decided that they were too cute not to share. Once again, I used the sugar cookie recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook (can you tell I’m a bit obsessed?), but this time I turned things up with some bright gel food colouring. To make these cookies, you’ll need:
- a batch of your favourite sugar cookie dough
- concentrated gel food colouring in as many colours as you like
- red royal icing (I used CakeMate)
- a heart-shaped cookie cutter (roughly 3″ across)
After mixing the wet ingredients for your dough, divide the batch by as many colours of cookie that you plan to make. Scoop a toothpick into your food colouring, and stir it into each portion of dough. Then, add the dry ingredients to each portion, and finish the dough as you normally would. This process is a bit tedious, but the colour combines much better when it is added before the dry ingredients. Once your dough is chilled, roll it out about 1/4″ thick, and cut out as many heart shapes as you can. Bake them on parchment as per the directions in your recipe. The key to keeping the colours vibrant is not over-baking the cookies, so take them out before the edges start to brown. If they seem a little soft, don’t worry, they will firm up as they cool.
Once they have cooled completely, you’re on to the fun part! Pipe messages onto each of your cookies in red royal icing. Choose messages with fewer letters so the cookies don’t look too cramped. The CakeMate stuff that I used was the perfect consistency and worked like a charm. Make sure that the tip you are piping from is small enough to give you control over the letters, and go to town! Let the icing harden before serving or packaging the cookies. I wrapped mine in little cellophane bags with a few real conversation hearts thrown in.