This is similar to a blog we posted during Christmas, but will be even more useful for my favorite Valentine’s Day treat, cut Sugar Cookies! I like to decorate sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day because they are so easy to store, bag, and give and, in my opinion, this is the best sugar cookie you will ever eat! You can easily pick up some themed (hearts) bags at Hobby Lobby or Micheal’s and present a lovely, inexpensive Valentine’s Day gift to the ones you love.
Valentine’s Day is a great day to say, “Thank you”, to people you appreciate day in and day out and a decorated cookie is a very simple, inexpensive way to do just that.
1. Heart shapes are the way to begin – I recommend purchasing some good cookie cutters in heart shapes. I bought mine years ago and they just keep on giving. Browse the Internet for decorating ideas and designs that will enhance your creative juices. After deciding in advance how to decorate, you can draw different patterns on paper to use later. This is a great idea and you will appreciate how much it helps when you’re ready to decorate your cookies; simplifying the process and improving the designs you make on each cookie. Here’s a picture of my patterns, it’s hard to see but definitely gives you the idea of how to decorate.
2. Make the cookies first. Sugar Cookie Recipe is hands down the best cookie recipe you will ever find for decorating. Make your cookies and store in the freezer in zip lock bags. NEVER bake and decorate on the same day – it can be exhausting – you will do much better decorating later! I promise. One more thought, be sure you don’t over bake your cookies – brown is not the goal, firm is the goal, tap them to check for firmness.
3. Now that you’re ready for the decorating, get out all of your decorating supplies. Pastry bags, tips, food coloring, sprinkles, offset spatulas, and toothpicks are important tools for cookies decorating. If you don’t own some of these items, maybe it’s time to invest. I would start with a decorating kit, Wilton makes one with all the basic tips, bags, and fittings. You’ll be surprised how often you use them once they’re under roof. Be sure to pick up a small offset spatula to make frosting quick and easy.
4. Begin with a double batch of Butter Frosting, then divide it into bowls for colors. I like red, pink, and white; I will use 3 bowls and divide accordingly. It’s always good to save a little frosting in case you need more of one color later. Some people like to use Royal Icing for decorating but I say DON’T…this Butter Frosting adds to the great taste of this cookie!
5. Frost every cookie with a base coat of frosting. Ice them all before you start the decorating. This is the palette for your decoration.
Now you’re ready to add the details using the patterns you found in step 1. Be careful if you’re using a pastry bag because butter frosting gets thinner as it warms up, so depending on how stiff your frosting is you may need to add a little powdered sugar or refrigerate your bag intermittently.
Remember, as you begin to decorate, that this doesn’t have to be perfect. I think that sometimes we defeat ourselves by thinking we have to do things perfectly if we’re going to do them…that’s not true. Your children, friends, and family will appreciate this gift and even the imperfections will taste good enough to eat! So do your best and enjoy the process.
6. Once the cookies are decorated place them on a rack and put them in the freezer to harden quickly – it’s a quick freeze. If you make them ahead they stay fresher if you freeze them and thaw in minutes at room temperature.
Once they harden you can stack them, gift bag them, or whatever you like.
On this Valentine’s Day I hope you will consider sharing the “heart-shaped sugar cookie” love. Your valentines will enjoy these wonderful treats and appreciate the the time and love that you put into making them. Happy Valentine’s Day!