Outside there is a polar vortex and it’s been nearly MINUS FIFTY with windchill for the past couple of weeks. I am completely stuck inside and really been missing being able to go for my outside adventures in the forests to unwind a little bit.
But at least it’s toasty warm and I’ve been keeping busy doing all sorts of things that I love! Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:
♡ Decorating the house for Valentine’s Day (it doesn’t really take much to love it up ;))
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
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 sticks (200 grams) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
6 egg whites
4 cups (1 pound) icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
food colouring (I use gel based)
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.
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
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!!
Here are some pics of what I was up to this week! Probably easier to share my craft-ventures in a sum up post rather than a ton of posts.
This was a good but very busy week… and it was FLIPPIN COLD here! COLDER THAN MINUS 40 celsius this morning with windchill (for the American folks conveniently that’s also -40 Fahrenheit!) Now I’m from Winnipeg, Canada, which has at times been colder than Mars, but that’s still not something you ever get used to! So I’ve been stuck inside most of the week (darn ;)).
Luckily that left lots of time for cleaning…
And did lots of creating:
Got a delivery of new yarn so I got seriously back into knitting as well this week!
Also did some decorating around my little pink house! Valentine’s decorating for most is my year round decor so I’m on cloud 9 stocking up on all sorts of goodies!!
That was a pretty busy week! Could’ve used an extra day in there for sure. Time to do it all again! 😀
What better thing than to remember and share what makes you the HAPPIEST! Then you can look back on it on the days that feel the gloomiest and look back at what makes life truly great. 😀 So each and every Thursday I’m going to share a few of my LOVES!
So the first instance of things I love should probably be something I really love…. HEARTS!!! <3
I was talking with people at work who were complaining a bit about how there is Valentines stuff out in stores already (I saw stuff on Boxing Day already haha)! But I LOVE IT! Even though I’m perpetually happily single, hearts fill me with warmth and happiness. Second to my Hello Kitty collection is my collection of HEART things so I look forward to Valentines season to increase my love of love!