Thursday, January 8, 2015

Three Blue Heart Cookies

When it comes to cookie decorating, the possibilities are endless and I think that's the main reason why I love it so much. There's always something new to try and every attempt is an adventure in the kitchen.

These blue heart cookies are the result of a recent challenge I gave myself — Make three different heart cookies using just two colors of royal icing. So I sketched and pondered and came up with these three designs and I like them all but my favorite is the simplest heart that I just painted on using a brush and thinned royal icing.

In the past I've painted on cookies using food coloring but that creates a look more reminiscent of ink pens or a smooth watercolor. Using thinned royal icing adds a textural element that's more like acrylic paint and I like the look a lot. I also found that the thinned royal icing was easier than the food coloring to apply and control. I'm going to have to experiment with this some more.

In the meantime, here's how to make these Three Blue Heart Cookies:

Knitted Heart

This knitted heart effect took some time but really was easy to create. If you notice at the top of the cookie, the icing has settled a bit too much for my taste. Using a stiffer royal icing would have eliminated this problem. I remembered to test my icing by piping onto a plate first but I didn't wait and watch it for a bit to see if it would gradually settle.  Next time I'll do better — Proof that I make mistakes and am constantly learning every time I decorate cookies.

I added a base coat of white icing to a cookie that I imprinted with a heart cutter before baking. The icing fell into the imprint and left a nice guide for me to follow. After the base coat has dried, add a row of blue dots to the top of the heart.

Use a small square tip brush to swipe each dot downward and add another row of dots and repeat.

Keep working all the way down the heart and let the icing dry completely before serving or packaging.
Sparkly Brushed Embroidery Heart:
After your white base coat has dried, pipe a heart with stiff royal icing.

Use the side of a square tip brush to pull the icing inward, working around the whole outline and cleaning off your brush periodically. Add another heart outline on the inside and repeat adding the brushed embroidery technique.

Outline and fill a heart shape in the very center. Let this dry completely.

Using thinned royal icing and a brush, add a thin layer of icing to the top of the dried center heart. Immediately dip it in sanding sugar and use a soft clean brush to remove any excess bits of sugar. Wait for the coat of icing to dry completely before packaging or serving.

Royal Icing Painted Heart:
This was the easiest cookie to make and my favorite. Outline and fill a cookie with white royal icing. Let this dry completely. Thin blue royal icing with water to make a spreadable paint and simply paint it on in the shape of a heart. Just be sure that you use a brush that's for kitchen use only. Wilton sells a set of brushes that I really like. Let the heart dry completely before packaging or serving.

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