I started thinking about Valentine’s Day Cookies about 3 weeks prior to the date. Knowing that I would want to possibly make several sets, I needed to think of a simple design, perhaps using white and one other colour. I prefer pink to red.
My daughter’s school organizes a Teacher’s Appreciation Week, usually around Valentine’s Day, so I wanted to make a set for her teacher. (I have already posted about the Word Puzzle Cookie set that I made for the teachers and support staff.) In addition, I wanted to surprise my husband with a set, as well as send some to my mother-in-law…
I found an inspiration picture on Pinterest, shown here, but don’t know who originally made this set. (It was from thewowstyle.com .) Given the number of cookies planned, using royal icing transfers in the design seemed a good way to speed up the decorating, since the transfers can be done long in advance and stored until needed. I have heart and flower cutters which come in sets, so I thought to trace the smaller cutters to make my pattern for the transfers. Since it had been a few months since I had last made sugar cookies, I decided I should bake a few first to refresh my memory with how much the dough expands, so that I could size the transfers to the appropriate scale. I didn’t want to go through all this effort, only to discover my transfers were out of proportion to the cookies and looked odd. (Okay, I admit it. I am a perfectionist.) Both the heart and flower cookies expanded by about 0.7 cm with baking (comparing cutter width and height with width and height of baked cookies), which really isn’t much. Below you can see the cutter on top of the baked and cooled cookie.
I traced out my cutters and then designed the sheets on which to pipe the transfers. I scanned the tracing as a jpeg file, then cropped it to the very edges of the tracing. I made a Word document, inserting the cropped picture and resizing it to the size I thought would work for the transfers (about 5 cm wide).
I mixed up one batch of Antonia74’s Royal Icing and tinted the base pink while still in the mixer. I mixed up a second batch and tinted this with 1 1/2 tsps. of Wilton White-White Cake Icing Colour. I made several types and sizes of transfers in both pink and white.
I experimented with freezing and thawing a completely packaged set, prepared ready to gift. The cookies were individually heat sealed, then set in basket shred in a box which was closed with stickers, satin ribbon and label, then placed inside a Rubbermaid freezer container. I have successfully frozen decorated cookies in the past, although darker coloured cookies may have areas of irregular colour on thawing.