It seems like I'm really into Valentines' Day. I post a recipe every year, but mostly it's because I have a quiet house in February and a chance to think straight. And while a part of me hates the con of it, I would have a bad case of FOMO if I didn't get to join in all the V Day baking fun. I love the idea of cooking something delicious for someone delicious. And disrupting New Year diets.
How could you resist a watercolour gingerbread heart if someone, say, anonymously left one on your desk with your morning coffee? Or wrapped one up with a bow and a bottle of your favourite bubbles? Or what if your love bought you a new leather tote and put a handmade cookie inside that said "
Price tag, one blowjob You carry my heart." We Xers are a jaded bunch but young people with lots of disposable income acting on their sweet/crazy Valentines urges are the best!
I will be rolling out batches of gingerbread hearts for my north side cafes in time for V Day, but in case you want to create your own uniquely messaged cookies, here is a guide to DIY.
You will need:
An alphabet stamp set, new or completely cleaned of ink. Kikki-K sells them for $19.95
A packet of white ready-to-roll fondant icing, available from cake decorating stores or the baking aisle of most supermarkets
A set of new kids paintbrushes or cake decorating brushes
At least two colours of gel based food colouring. I used Wilton colours, available from cake decorating stores
Cake decorating alcohol, available from cake decorating stores
12 gingerbread heart cookies. This is the gingerbread recipe I use. Follow the instructions but use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make hearts instead of gingerbread men. Ensure cookies are completely cold before applying icing. Cookies can be made up to a week ahead.
A large flat baking tray
A rolling pin
A small dish to mix each colour, plus one extra
Place 1-2 teaspoons of decorating alcohol into small dishes. Add a drop of each colour to each dish and mix with a paintbrush (use a separate brush for each dish to avoid mixing colours).
In the extra dish, mix together 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and a few drops of water to get a thin clear icing.
Lay out heart cookies on flat baking tray and set aside.
Dust clean work surface (or pastry mat) and rolling pin with icing sugar and roll out fondant icing to 3mm thickness.
Cut 12 heart shapes from the icing.
Take a heart cookie and brush it with the clear icing and then carefully place a heart fondant shape on top, smoothing the edges with your fingertips. Repeat with remaining cookies.
Stamp a message on each cookie. Be as sweet or sexy as you like.
Paint each cookie with your chosen colours, beginning with light colours and adding darker shades to create a watercolour effect.
Let the cookies dry completely before storing them in an airtight container. They will keep for up to three days.