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That being said, many people have shared the picture but didn't give instructions on how to prepare the icing. Yes, it is basically white icing (powdered sugar and water) mixed with a little bit of jelly crystals. Keep reading for detailed instructions on how to prepare the icing, make a batch of sugar cookies (FROM SCRATCH) and decorate your cookies for Valentine's Day (or any other day).
Rainbow Jell-O Icings
1/2 c- 1 c hot water
1 T meringue powder (optional)
1-2 T EACH of 6 different jelly powder crystals
Place the icing sugar and meringue powder in a mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment (yes, you can do this by hand- it's easier with a mixer though), pour in 1/2 c of the hot water and mix until combined. At medium speed, beat the icing until it is smooth, light, and pourable- 5-10 minutes. You may have to adjust the amount of liquid required to get it to the correct consistency. It's better to start with too little of liquid than too much. It's okay if it is a little thin.
Divide the icing into 6 small bowls and cover each with plastic wrap (or the equivalent). The icing will start to dry quickly so keep it covered while you're not using it. Working with one bowl at a time, mix in 1-2 T of one flavour of jelly crystal powder to the icing. Stir well to ensure all the crystals are dissolved. As the icing sits, it will start to thicken and you will most likely need to adjust the consistency with a little more hot water- 1 t at a time. Repeat for each icing colour. * I mixed all my colours at once, then came back and adjusted the consistency right before piping and flooding each individual colour.
Sugar Cookies- Basic Dough
1 c unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
3 c pastry flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
In a large bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
In three steps, mix in the dry ingredients, taking care not to over-mix the dough. Over-mixed cookies will shrink when baking and be tough and chewy to eat.
Scoop out the dough onto plastic wrap and press it into a flattened shape (round or rectangular- doesn't matter) about 1 1/2-inches thick. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and set aside for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.
To roll the cookies: unwrap the dough and divide in half. On a flour dusted board (or counter), roll the dough evenly to 1/8-inch thickness (1/4-inch if you prefer thicker cookies). Using a cookie cutter (hearts for Valentine's Day!), cut the cookies out pressing straight down into the dough, dipping the cutter in flour every couple of presses. Place the cut dough onto a parchment paper or silpat lined cookie sheet and allow the cookies to chill for at least 15 minutes in the fridge. Continue to cut out remaining cookies with the other half of dough, re-rolling the scraps once more. (You can re-roll more than once if you're frugal, but the texture of the cookies really will suffer.)
* At this point, you can also freeze the cookie dough. It's nice to have rolled cookies ready-to-bake prepared in the freezer so you can pull them out whenever you feel like a treat. It's also great if time is an issue- make the dough ahead of time and bake the day-of for fresh cookies.
In a 325°F preheated oven, bake the cookies for 7-10 minutes, rotating halfway, on the middle and upper racks until the edges are just beginning to lightly brown and the tops are set. If you rolled thicker cookies, you may have to adjust your timing. Sugar cookies are suppose to be pale in colour and will crisp up once cooled.
Remove cookies from oven and allow to rest for five minutes on the cookie sheet. Carefully remove cookies to baking racks to cool completely. Store in a covered container.
Decorating the Heart-Shaped Cookies with Jell-O Icing
You will need:
Sheets of parchment paper or wax paper to create quick and easy piping bags
Small glass or container to hold the piping bags while filling
It may seem like a lengthy process to complete, but these piping bags are incredibly quick & easy to make once you practice a few times. You can make them any size that you like.
The Jell-O Icing Cookies were first published on an earlier blog post.