Make your Valentine’s Day more special with these sugar cookies decorated with heart-shape easy icing. They are soft in the middle, crispy on edges and sure to be a lovely treat for gifting.
February is always a good month of the year. It’s a month of love and self love and I can’t think of a sweeter way to celebrate than with a batch of fresh baked cookies with an adorable pink heart icing. This recipe bases off my cut-out sugar cookies recipe, which gives you sharp, neat edged cookies even during their time in the oven. They are also golden brown and crisp on the outside, but soft and tender on the inside. As we already had a sugar cookie base, this post will just focus on how to make easy icing.
EASY ICING INGREDIENTS
The icing I am gonna use to decorate these cookies are simple and quick to make. No crazy ingredients, no mixer required. All you need are:
- Powdered sugar
- Corn syrup
- Vanilla extract.
This icing is similar to a glaze I’ve used for my Lemon pound cake. This icing recipe is like a base, and you can customize it by adding a hint of flavor such as lemon juice or other spices. I chose to use corn syrup as I think I’d get a fabulous shine on the icing and more than that, the corn syrup also makes the icing a little bit thicker.
When you wish to add color to icing, liquid or gel food coloring is recommended. Start with just at a drop, mix well with the icing. Add more color a little at a time, preferably drop by drop until it reaches the desired icing color.
You will know the icing is ready to use if it’s smooth and not too runny. The icing can hold together for a few seconds and slowly drip after running off the spoon. To thin the icing, add small amounts of milk (or water), preferable 1 teaspoon at a time. Add more sifted powdered sugar if you want to thicken your icing. Start with 1 tablespoon, mix well until you reach the consistency you’d like.
To decorate these cookies, I use Wilton no.1 piping tip to draw a heart shape outline then continue to this tip to complete the flooding. No.5 decorating tip works fine if you want to outline a bigger size of heart shape.
SOME USEFUL TIPS
Make sure to measure the ingredients correctly.
We need cut-out sugar cookies with neat edges therefore the cookie dough should be chilled before baking.
Allow the cookies to cool completely before applying the icing, otherwise the icing will melt.
I would suggest dividing it into smaller portions so that you can mix a few different colours once you’ve made the icing. When you are not using the icing, cover the bowl with a wet towel or a plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Valentine's Cookies With Easy Icing
For Sugar Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups (350g/12.5 oz.) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks/226g) butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g/7 oz.) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup (188g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon corn syrup
- 2-3 tablespoons (30-45ml) milk or water, room temperature
- Gel food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175° C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, use a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract just until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom as needed. Reduce to low speed. Add dry mixture and beat just until combined. Do not overmix. Dough will be soft enough to work with. If the dough is too sticky to handle, try to mix in a little more flour. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until it’s firm enough for rolling. In this step, if you work as quickly as possible, you do not need to chill the dough.
- Slightly soften the dough after you take the dough out of the fridge if using. On a lightly floured surface (or between 2 lightly floured parchment papers), roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter and place them on prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the remaining scraps into a ball and roll back out to cut the remaining cookies.
- Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn brown. Baking time may vary depending on the thickness of the cookies. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, in a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar with the corn syrup and milk and whisk until they’re well combined. Start with 2 tablespoons of milk. If it’s too thick, add 1 more teaspoon of milk. To thin out the icing add 1 more tablespoon powdered sugar. The icing is ready to use if it’s smooth and not too runny.
- The icing can hold together for a few seconds and slowly drip after running off the spoon. Add gel food coloring as desired, drop by drop. Dividing it into smaller portions if you want to mix a few different colors. Cover the icing with plastic wrap or a wet tissue to prevent it from drying.
- Draw a heart shape outline in the middle of cookies using No.1 decorating tip then continue filling the inside. Let the cookies with icing on top chill until the icing has set, then they are perfect for gifting. Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the fridge for a week.