Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine's Cookies Galore...Sugar Cookie Cut Outs, Red Velvet Whoopie Pies and White Chocolate Chip Heart Cookies

This past weekend my aunt hosted a bridal shower with a group of her friends. She asked if I could make several dozen heart shaped cookies for the shower. Rather than just making one type of cookies, I thought I would mix it up and do 3 different types. I decided on White Chocolate Chip cookies made in a heart shaped pan from Wilton that I got at Michael's, Red Velvet Whoopie Pies and lastly sugar cookie cut outs in the shapes of hearts.



I think they all turned out really cute and from what I was told they were a huge hit at the party. She said the white chocolate chip and red velvet whoopie pies were all gone! So I guess that means they were good. My boyfriend did try a whoopie pie before I packaged them all up and he loved them and is hoping I am making them again really soon!



White Chocolate Chips Heart Cookies



For the white chocolate chips heart cookies, I used my favorite chocolate chip recipe found here and replaced the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips. I grabbed about am 1 1/2 inch ball of dough and slowly pressed it into the greased heart shaped pan. Bake for about 9 minutes or until they start to puff out and are golden.





Let cool in pan for about 3 minutes then invert onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely.



Once the cookies have cooled you are decorate as you wish. I just melted pink candy coating and chocolate bark coating and drizzled over the tops of the cookies.






Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from Annie's Eats adapted from Dinner and Desserts originally from Better Homes and Garden, December 2008. Frosting adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride


Cookies:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temp

1 oz. red food coloring


Frosting for the Filling:

8 oz cream cheese

5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a heart template or cookie cutter to trace evenly spaced hearts onto pieces of parchment paper. Place the parchment on the cookie sheets so that the side you have drawn on is facing down; set aside.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a bowl of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add about a 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by half the buttermilk, beating each addition just until incorporated. Repeat so that all the buttermilk has been added and then mix in the final third of the dry ingredients. Do not overbeat. Blend in food coloring.


Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. I could not find mine so I used a smaller one, they didnt turn out as pretty as I had hoped but it worked. Next time I will make sure to find the bigger round tip.


Pipe the batter onto the parchment paper using the heart tracings as a guide. Bake 5-7 minutes or until the tops are set, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet at least 10 minutes, until they can be easily transferred to a cooling rack. Repeat with any remaining batter. Allow cookies to cool completely before proceeding.


To make the cream cheese frosting: Using the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.


Transfer the frosting to a clean pastry bag fitted with a large tip. I used the star tip but you can use the large round tip as well. Pair the cookies up by shape and size. Flip the cookies over. Pipe the frosting onto every other cookie, leaving the edges clear. Sandwich the cookies together so the flat sides of the cookies are facing each other and press gently to help the filling reach the edges. To store, refrigerate in an air tight container.




Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

This was my second attempt at sugar cookies with royal icing. I am happy to report that this time was much easier and I think they turned out much better. So I guess practice does make perfect?...well not perfect but better :)
Anyways I used the same recipe I blogged about here from Bridget's Bake at 350. This time I did make the cookies a lot thicker and this seemed to help them be softer and more chewy...which I liked much better!

The dough was about 1/4 inch thick and I placed the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I used various heart shaped cookie cutters I had in a few different sizes.


I baked these for about 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees and let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

I used the same recipe for Royal Icing this time, except instead of Wilton's brand of Meringue Powder I got the one from Williams-Sonoma. I think it tasted much better, so try this one if you aren't happy with the one you currently use. For the recipe, see this post or go to Bake at 350. I doubled the recipe just so I made sure I had enough.

Once the royal icing is made, I split the icing into 4 bowls. And used my food coloring paste to get the colors I wanted, which were red, pink, black and white. I used a little water to thin out the royal icing until it was the consistency needed for piping. The remaining icing was left in the bowl until I transferred to the bottles for flooding. (When you make the icing for flooding, make sure you thin the icing out more) If it gets too thin just add more powdered sugar.
Here are my bottles used to flood the cookies.


Here are a few pictures I took as I was decorating.






I still have a lot to learn but the more I practice the more comfortable I get with it. If you want more instruction on using royal icing, I love the tips on Bake at 350 and Annie's Eats. Everyone has their own way of doing sugar cookies, you just have to figure out what works best for you!


This time I took a tip from Bridget and rather than using room temp unsalted butter I used salted cold and this made me not have to refrigerate the dough before rolling. It was so easy, try it next time. You might like it too!

Sorry this was such a lengthy post and maybe a little late for Valentine's but I was busy baking all weekend! Enjoy!

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12 comments:

  1. That is a lot of cookies! I love them all!

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  2. They all look beautiful! I love that heart cookie pan.

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  3. Wow. That is a tall order and you pulled it off beautifully.

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  4. wow, looks like you had a lot of fun

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  5. wow... everything looks great!!!

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  6. cookies, cookies and more cookies! they all look amazing. so much so that i can't pick a favorite.

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  7. Love for you to come post the recipe and a photo in our recipe of the month comp in our friendly forum :] All are welcome!

    http://lickyalipsdelish.com/

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  8. Beautiful job with all the decorating!!! I love your hearts with the scallops. And the whoopie pies look yummy too!

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  9. Oh wow all the cookies look delicious and so beautifully decorated! Never made my own whoopie pies, love how they are haert shaped.

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  10. All the cookies are adorable! I wanted to make those whoopie pies, but never got around to it! Maybe next year ;)

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  11. It's never too late for heart cookies. They all look so pretty and festive. great job!

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