I’m catering dessert goody bags for a Valentine’s Day party and was asked to make something for the guests that is both festive and easy to grab on their way out. While the thought of mini cupcakes crossed my mind, individual boxes for each can be costly. I also thought about raspberry macarons, but macarons require delicate handling, which is not very fun to do on a massive scale. I finally decided on creating these beautiful heart-shaped sugar cookies.
Most people enjoy sugar cookies and they’re relatively easy to create loads of. Sugar cookie dough is also perfect for molding shapes out of, allowing me to create these cute heart cookies.I did a trial run to plan out the timing for getting it all done. Once the cookies completely cooled, I decorated them with pink royal icing and gold sprinkles. I decided on dying the icing pink because I think it’s a softer, more elegant approach to Valentine’s Day than the typical red. I also like the way the pink and gold compliment each other. I’m placing the cookies in clear pastry bags I bought from the party store, but make sure that if you wrap any iced cookies, you allow for ample drying time for the icing beforehand.
- 2/3 c butter
- 3/4 c white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp grated orange zest, or lemon if you don't have an orange
- 1 egg
- 4 tsp milk
- 2 c all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
for the icing
- 4 egg whites
- 4-4.5 cups powdered sugar
- drop of red food dye
- gold sprinkles
- Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract and grated orange zest. Add the egg and mix on medium speed. Stop and add milk before mixing again.
- Pour in flour, salt, and baking powder before mixing. Keep mixer going until the dough starts coming away from the sides of the bowl and clumps together.
- Split the dough in half and flatten each half into a disc shape. Place the first disc on a piece of parchment paper, then cover with another of parchment paper before placing the second disc on top. Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with flour. Once dough has chilled, roll out the first disc of dough into 1/4 inch thickness. Begin cutting out cookies using heart-shaped cookie cutters.
- Place the cookies on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 375°F for about 6 minutes, just until the edges are slightly golden. They’ll firm up within a couple minutes once they’re cooling down. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack until they’re completely cool.
- Meanwhile, create the icing by whisking the egg whites on high speed until it begins to lose its yellow color. Add in the powdered sugar and continue to whisk until it’s thick and pure white with soft peaks. Add in a drop of red dye and mix until the entire icing is a solid light pink color. Use a brush (or pastry bag) to apply the icing onto the cookies, leaving the edges bare. Drop some gold sprinkles onto the icing and then let the cookies completely dry.