It’s been so long since I’ve experienced Valentine’s day in elementary school – do they still give out Valentines? I used to have so much fun making Valentines in school. I was pretty into the arts and crafts hour. Do you remember making those little mailboxes for people to put Valentines into? Everyone had to bring an old tissue box from home and we’d go wild with construction paper, doilies, and glitter.
One year I remember making making candy apples for the school Valentine’s bake sale. Now that I think about it, kids and hot candy syrup probably wasn’t the safest idea out there, but it sure was fun! It’s so funny how Valentine’s Day when you’re a kid is all about candy and friendship and now that we’re older, it’s supposed to be all sexy and romantic.
I don’t actually really buy into the whole Valentine’s day thing with gifts and over the top gestures. If Mike and I didn’t end up celebrating, I wouldn’t be too sad. I do love all the pink and red things that pop up though, because I’m a sucker for anything holiday themed. Thus, my love for conversation hearts. Yes, they’re super cheesy and most of the time the little sayings don’t make sense, but I think they’re so cute.
I had such a blast coming up with what to write on these guys. To be honest, I’m so out of the loop on slang these days. Mike and I had a whole conversation with a friend about “cereal.” He was playing darts on the weekend and a bunch of kids kept saying that it was getting cereal, which he didn’t quite get. Now, that one I have heard of, so maybe I’m not so bad?
I ended up doing a bunch of random things that were cute to just me, so if you don’t entirely get them, it’s not because you’re old, it’s because I am! I’m totally partial to “unicorn things,” “i loaf you” and “let’s brie together.” How about you?
Basic Sugar Cookies via Martha Stewart
makes about 32 cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. With an mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Slowly add flour mixture and mix until combined. Divide dough in half and pat to flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes. Alternatively, place in the fridge overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Remove one dough disk and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly dusted work surface, or between two sheets of floured parchment. Lightly dust with flour as needed. Cut out hearts with a cookie cutter. Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets and chill for 10 minutes. Re-roll scraps, cut shapes and repeat with remaining dough.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until slightly golden, 10 to 18 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.
Royal Icing Recipe via Sweet Sugarbelle
makes about 2.5 cups
- 1 pound (453 g) confectioner’s sugar
- 2.5 tablespoons (26.5 g) meringue powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4-6 tablespoons warm water
Gently mix together the sugar and meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the 4 tablespoons of water. The icing will start out thick and lumpy. Continue to add the remaining water (you may not need all of it) until the icing resembles thick honey. Turn the mixer up a bit and whip until thick and fluffy. Stop mixing when the icing can form a soft peak.
Conversation Heart Sugar Cookies
makes 32 cookies
I like to use tipless piping bags because you don’t need tips and couplers. I also outline and flood (fill in the icing) with the same icing consistency. You want your icing to be stiff enough to hold a piped line, but loose enough so that it will flow when you flood.
- royal icing
- gel icing color, as desired
- 32 heart sugar cookies
Separate the icing out into equal amounts in several bowls (the number of colors you want, plus one for white). Use a toothpick to pick up some gel color and stir into an icing bowl. I made 8 different shades of blues and greens (I ended up only using 7) by adding different amounts of gel coloring. A little goes a long way so start out light and move on from there.
After your icing is colored, make sure it’s the right consistency for piping and flooding. This is a particularly helpful post on getting the consistency right. This is helpful too! When the consistency is right, spoon the icing into your piping bags and close them off. I just tie them off but I’ve seen some people use rubber bands.
When you’re ready to pipe, cut a tiny corner off of the tipless piping bag. Outline the heart and then fill it in. Let dry for 1 hour, minimum. Pipe on conversation heart saying of choice. Let dry overnight.