Let’s Talk About Conversation Heart Cookies!

Happy valentine vibes are starting to soar and hearts are starting to float into stores and online! It’s such a nice change from the dreary greyness that is January!

I was asked to make some super sweet heart cookies for a local organization who works with special needs adults to celebrate their support workers. And what’s more lovely than conversation hearts to tell someone you appreciate them?!

Conversation hearts are addictive little candy hearts with a cute little message to give to someone you appreciate (or yourself!) They look like they are just meant to be cookies!

To make these cookies, I used a standard sugar cookie recipe and royal icing recipe that I’ve used multiple times which always come out deliciously decadent! Decorating them is far easier than you’d think!

What You Need

Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 sticks (200 grams) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

Icing

  • 6 egg whites
  • 4 cups (1 pound) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • food colouring (I use gel based)

Directions

Baking

  • Cream the sugar and butter together until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla until combined.
  • Add in the flour and salt until fully incorporated, and the cookie dough will come together in a big dough ball. The dough will seem very, very crumby at first, but it will come together when you use your hands.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and flatten into your hands into a flat disk. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and put in fridge for 20 minutes (this makes it much easier to work with).
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Roll out your dough on a floured surface. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out your shapes (1/4 inch thick) and carefully transfer them to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown and then let them completely cool.

Royal Icing

  • To make the icing, add in the icing sugar, and then add in the egg whites and lemon juice and then blend with a hand or stand mixer on high until light and fluffy (5-10 minutes). Cover with a wet cloth or in an air tight container until ready to use (or it will harden!)
  • When ready to decorate, thin out your icing into flood consistency and separate your icing into separate bowls and colour as appropriate for your design. I used six colours based on conversation heart cookies: pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
  • Leave a little bit of excess icing in piping consistency in red (or whatever your want!) to do the writing and cover

Decorating

I started off with piping each individual cookie, but as you can imagine filling piping bags, piping a border, and flooding 70+ cookies is time consuming! So I opted to DIP my cookies in the royal icing which was so much faster and I think looks pretty great!

  • Fill a low bowl with your icing at flood consistency and then pick up the cookies and DIP! I used a popsicle stick to remove the excess icing. It took a few goes to figure out how to remove the excess smoothly
  • Put the dipped cookies on a tray and let COMPLETELY dry (a couple of hours at least)
  • Once the cookies are dried, fill a piping bag and with a small round tip and pipe the lettering. Some ideas are: XOXO, You Rock, U.R.A. Q.T, Love, Sweet, Hug Me, Text Me, Cutie Pie, Be Mine… the sweet sayings are endless!

All of the colours look so pretty together, and would make a lovely personalized gift for the loves in your life!!

XOXO
Erika

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25 Days of Christmas Baking: Day 13 – Sugar Cookies

This December is the most festive I have felt since I was a kid. All of this sugar and spice is really helping to bring out that extra bit of holiday magic!

Continuing with my Christmas Baking Challenge, I spent all of today in my little kitchen baking the ultimate Christmas cookie – the sugar cookie! Although cookie decorating seems so intimidating when you stare at all of the beautiful cookie art on Pinterest, I promise it’s so easy to create your own decorated sugar cookies! Here’s my favourite sugar cookie and royal icing recipe.

This year, Hello Kitty is decked out in Santa hats and festive bows and ready to bring happiness (and a delicious buttery crunch) to all!

What You Need

Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 sticks (200 grams) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

Icing

  • 6 egg whites
  • 4 cups (1 pound) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • food colouring (I use gel based)

yields 24 cookies using a large cookie cutter / 48 cookies using a small cookie cutter

Directions

Baking

  • Cream the sugar and butter together until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla until combined.
  • Add in the flour and salt until fully incorporated, and the cookie dough will come together in a big dough ball.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and flatten into your hands into a flat disk. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and put in fridge for 20 minutes (this makes it much easier to work with).
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Roll out your dough on a floured surface. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out your shapes (1/4 inch thick) and carefully transfer them to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown and then let them completely cool.

Royal Icing

  • To make the icing, add in the icing sugar, and then add in the egg whites and lemon juice and then blend with a hand or stand mixer on high until light and fluffy (5-10 minutes). Cover with a wet cloth or in an air tight container until ready to use (or it will harden!)
  • When ready to decorate, separate your icing into separate bowls and colour as appropriate for your design.
  • You will need to further separate some of your coloured icing to do the flooding – that is the thinner icing used to fill in the areas! To do this just add a teaspoon of water at a time into the mixture.
  • Put your thicker icing into piping bags and your thinner icing into squeeze bottles and go forth to decorate!

Decorating

  • With a thin piping tip, pipe your outlines using the thicker icing.
  • Then with the squeeze bottle, pipe the thinner flood icing. Use a flat knife or toothpick to smooth it out up to those thick icing borders that you made. Add on any sprinkles or decorations at this point.
  • Let the icing completely dry (may take a few hours). Then you can add your final top piping if your design calls for it! If you add royal icing on top of royal icing it will spread slightly.

Just be aware that cookie decorating is labour intensive! From the start with baking the cookies, to the final detail of the cookies it took me OVER eight hours of baking (not counting the cleaning)! So if you’re a beginner like me, this is definitely not a quick evening project! But every single minute was enjoyable.

I’m so full of sugar now that I’m definitely going to dream of sugarplums dancing!!


Other Tips and Tricks

How to Decorate Cookies Guide from Betty Crocker

Christmas Sugar Cookie Ideas

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