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Blog

Filtering by Category: Cookies and Bars

Simple Heart Cookies

Patricia Reitz

You don't need the skills of a pastry chef to make these adorable cookies - with just a few simple tools, you can make them too!  Follow me into the kitchen and I'll show you how it's done. 

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To begin, you'll need waxed paper, a rolling pin, rolling guides (1/8-inch and 1/16-inch thicknesses to make these cookies)....

How to make professional looking heart / Valentine's Day cookies with no skills! Recipe and how-to photos.

And fondant plunger cutters.  The large heart cutter is available in this set, and the small one came from this set.  If you want a large heart that can be personalized to say anything, check out this set.

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You'll also need some good quality fondant.  Some of the brands available in my area that I like are satin ice, fondarific, duff goldman, and fat daddios.  I do not care for wilton. 

I always keep white fondant on hand because I can custom color it any way I like, but it's also nice to keep darker colors on hand (red, brown, black) because it's hard to achieve the deep saturation mixing gel colors in manually.

(this isn't a necessary tool, but it sure is handy) 

When I'm working with large quantities of fondant, I keep it in a bread proofing box set at 90F (keeping the fondant sealed in an airtight container the whole time).  When I'm ready to work with the fondant, it's warm enough that I can roll it easily without first having to knead it until it's soft and workable.

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Love my bread proofing box from Brod & Taylor.  It's great for proofing bread dough, of course, but it has a temperature range of 70-120F, so it's good for making yogurt, melting chocolate, and keeping tempered chocolate in temper too.  The newest model has a temperature range of 70-195F.

Best cookie decorating hack ever!

Alright, while the fondant is still warm and soft, roll it out between two layers of waxed paper (1/16-inch thickness) and use fondant plunger to cut shapes and imprint designs.  

How to decorate cookies with fondant

Remove scraps and allow fondant shapes to sit at room temperature until needed (they'll firm up as they rest).  Do this step before baking the cookiesbecause you'll want them ready to go when the cookies come out of the oven.

Check out this clever way to use fondant plunger cutters.

For the cookies:  roll cookie dough between two layers of waxed paper (1/8-inch thickness) and use fondant plunger to cut out shapes (no need to imprint the designs here).

Note:  If the cookie dough cutouts get too soft to move without getting distorted, slide the waxed paper onto a sheet pan and pop it in the fridge to firm the dough before transferring the cutouts to a silpat lined half sheet pan to bake as directed (as shown in this graham cracker post I shared a number of years ago).

The easiest way to decorate cookies ever!

Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately place the prepared fondant cutouts on top. 

Cookie Decorating Hack for any holiday or occasion, with recipe and photos. Valentine's Day Cookies, Easter Cookies, Baby Shower Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Halloween Cookies, Fall / Thanksgiving Cookies.

As the cookies cool, the residual heat will melt the fondant cutouts just enough that they will bond to the cookies.   

Awesome cookie hack

Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


CHOCOLATE CUTOUT COOKIES

makes 40-60 cookies

Ingredients

Directions

To make the cookie dough:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the BeaterBlade attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed for 30 seconds.

  3. Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine.

  4. Add flour mixture and beat until incorporated.

  5. Remove dough from mixer bowl and wrap well with plastic wrap; chill for 1-3 hours.

  6. Preheat oven to 375F.

  7. Roll each dough portion to 1/8-inch thickness between 2 layers of wax paper.

  8. Cut out desired shapes with plunger cutters, without plunging the design into the cutout (dust cutter in flour if needed).

  9. Chill dough before transferring cutouts to sheet pan to prevent distorting.

  10. Place cookies 2-inches apart on silpat lined sheet pan.

  11. Bake for 6-8 minutes; remove from oven and top with fondant cutouts (cut to 1/16-inch thick) that have the design pressed into them.

  12. Cool completely before serving. Store in airtight container between with wax paper between layers.

Note:  Recipe makes 40-60 cookies, depending on size.  Plan to use about 1/2 pound fondant (I like to buy white fondant so I can color it any way I like).  Fondant cutouts can be made a day or more in advance if stored on wax or parchment paper in an airtight container.  If the cookies cool before fondant toppers are applied, you can warm the cookies for a few seconds in the microwave (but I recommend applying the fondant to cookies as soon as they come out of the oven).

Kitchen Tip: What's The Best Surface for Baking Cookies?

Patricia Reitz

Silpat vs Parchment - which is better?

Silpat vs Parchment - which is better?

What's the best surface for baking cookies?

Here's a tip I want to share - when I bake a new cookie recipe for the first time, I like to test various baking surfaces to see which one produces the best results.  

is parchment better than silicone when baking cookies?

Here's an example of two cookies that were made from the same recipe and baked side-by-side, on the same sheet pan, at the exact same temperature, for the exact same length of time.  One was baked on parchment paper and the other on a Silpat liner.

In some cases, the finished cookies bake nearly identically, but in this particular case, the cookie baked on the silpat was the clear winner.  


And here's another example - the differences are more subtle than the cookies above, but there are differences.  I'll post larger photos so you can see them better. 

testing baking surfaces - which baking surface is best?

Cookie tops - the ones baked on a Silpat have a much nicer appearance.   The ones baked on parchment are lumpy and seem to have developed a few air holes that broke through the surface.

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Cookie bottoms - again, the ones baked on a Silpat look so much better.  The ones baked on parchment have wrinkled and unevenly browned bottoms, and you can see where those air holes started - weird.

parchment vs silpat

And here's a different cookie recipe with more dramatic results - as you can see, the cookie baked on parchment stuck so badly that it broke when I tried to pull it from the paper, but the cookie the cookie baked on the sipat released perfectly.