Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cookie Valentines

I am publishing this after Valentine's Day has passed, but the recipe and techniques can be used on any shaped cookie, not just hearts.
I made these Cookie Valentines for my daughter's toddler preschool class. I wanted to do a decorated cookie but I also wanted to keep the project simple. I happened to have some leftover marshmallow fondant from a cake I had done the week before. I also stumbled upon a tip for decorating cookies with fondant on the Cake Central website..perfect!
I rolled out some pink and red fondant and used my heart cookie cutter to cut it. I made the No Fail Sugar Cookie recipe below (from a Cake Central member) and used the same cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. The NFSC's hold their shape extremely well while baking and expand just a little bit larger than the fondant cutouts leaving a perfect cookie border and they taste great too!
I lined up my fondant hearts on wax paper on my kitchen table which is located right next to the oven. As soon as the cookies were removed from the oven I applied a fondant heart to the hot cookie. You have to work quickly, but the heat of the cookie makes the fondant adhere to it and it goes on smoothly.
After the fondant covered cookies cooled I piped on the names using royal icing. Overall this was a fairly easy technique and I think it produced some nice results. I am planning to try this again soon, but I want to make cookie pops next time!

This recipe is GREAT when using complex cookie cutters. The dough holds its’ shape and won’t spread during baking. Make sure you let your oven preheat for at least 1/2 hour before baking these or any other cookies.
No Fail Sugar Cookies – NFSC
6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups unsalted butter
2 cups sugar (white granulated)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like almond myself)
1 tsp. salt
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.
2. Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)
4. Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350
5. degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe
6. can make up to 5-dozen 3" cookies.
HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess — Rather than wait for your cookie dough to
chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper.
Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop
it into the refrigerator. Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have
used it all. By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to
cut. Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus is that you are not adding
any additional flour to your cookies.

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