Decorated Heart Sugar Cookies are made with an easy rolled sugar cookie dough and decorated with royal icing. Sugar Cookies with royal icing are simple to make and so great for every occasion.
I always love something homemade, because not many people make things from scratch. Most people buy Valentine’s Day trinkets to handout for school treats. But, I love something homemade and made with love. For more Valentine’s day DIY gift ideas try making Mixed Berry Jam, Raspberry Oatmeal Bars, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, and Chewy Brownies.
The last few days I’ve been working on these Decorated Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies. I used Rolled Sugar Cookies and either double or triple the recipe. Of course, you can do that when you are blessed with commercial baking equipment and a 10-quart mixer. Yes, 10-quart! I would of bought the 20-quart mixer if I had a sink big enough to wash it! We’re planning on buying an older house and completely renovating it. Hopefully in the next year or two. So this farmgirl will be designing a big ole kitchen to work and play!
The first step is to make a basic rolled sugar cookie dough. Refrigerate it for a few hours or even overnight. For my schedule, making a batch of cookie dough at night and make the cookies the next day. By the time they are baked, I’m ready for an afternoon and evening of decorating. I used the Wilton Comfort Grip Heart Cutter. Roll out your dough to about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick and cut your hearts out. Set them on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (I love sheets of parchment paper, rather than a roll of parchment paper!) Bake at 400 degrees F for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool completely before decorating with royal icing.
How to make Sugar Cookie Icing:
Step 1: To make royal icing: In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, beat all ingredients at medium speed until icing forms peaks and loses its sheen, 7-10 minutes.
Step 2: If peaks are not forming, increase the mixer speed and continue to beat. To prevent drying, cover the bowl with a damp cloth while working with icing.
How to Decorate Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing:
Step 1: Pipe outside edges with a thicker royal icing. Then go back and “flood” the entire cookie with thinner royal icing. Thin the icing out with a little bit of egg white. Stir together with a spoon and see how your consistency looks before placing the icing into a pastry bag. I use a wooden sandwich toothpick to help spread the icing to the edges. But, you can also buy a special tool to do this method. (My theory is to use what you have already!) On some of the cookies, while the flood icing was wet, I made white flood icing drops. Then pulled the toothpick to create hearts. On others, wait until the cookie is completely dry, then add the roses you made, after they dry thoroughly and add leaves with a leaf tip.
Or, you can use a 15 to 20 second royal icing and outline the cookie, then flood it.
While my cookie dough chills I make royal icing roses. You can find the royal icing recipe on the back of Wilton’s meringue powder. Make sure that your mixing bowl and all utensils are free of any grease. If you get any sort of grease on your mixing bowl, rubber spatula or work area, the icing won’t whip up and become stiff. So be sure and keep everything grease free!
You’ll need a few supplies from Wilton, including meringue powder, flower tip set, flower nail, couplers, and disposable pastry bags. (You can find Wilton Cake Decorating products in Walmart, Michael’s or on Amazon.) If you buy a small Wilton Cake decorating set, it will come with pretty much everything you need, plus a great little storage container.
How to make royal icing flowers:
Step 1: To make roses, you’ll use tip #104. Color the royal icing your desired color. I started with pale pink, and striped a small amount of pale yellow up the pastry bag before I filled it with pink. Then towards the end, just added white. This gave me a more natural looking rose and different variations.
Step 2: Cut parchment paper into strips, and then into little squares. Set aside a nice pile of parchment squares. Place a coupler inside a disposable pastry bag. Place your tip #104 on and then twist on the ring to hold the tip in place. Fill your pastry bag with some royal icing.
Step 3: Stick a little icing onto the flower nail, press that into a parchment square. Then, start by making a small mound of icing. Pipe the center of the rose, with the thin part of the tip up. Next, pipe petals. Start on one side, pipe a petal about half way around the center you just make. Go up and then back down and spin the flower nail as you work. Continue t o do this to build the entire rose. You want to overlap each petal a bit. Carefully slide the parchment square with rose onto a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Let dry completely, overnight, before removing from the squares of paper. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for extended time periods.
After the cookies are dry, I bag them up in a food safe plastic bag and close with a twist tie. You can add a brown Kraft tag and hand write details.
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Decorated Heart Sugar Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 5 tablespoons water
Rolled sugar cookies
- In a large mixing bowl, using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined thoroughly. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally.
- Place the cookie dough into a large Ziploc bag and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place the cookies carefully onto parchment lined half sheet pans, leaving a little space for them to expand.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool completely before decorating.
- In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, beat all ingredients at medium speed until icing forms peaks and loses its sheen, 7-10 minutes.
- If peaks are not forming, increase the mixer speed and continue to beat. To prevent drying, cover the bowl with a damp cloth while working with icing.
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