DIY: Rainbow Heart Cookies
I was feeling inspired by the colors I used on the labels from the Valentine’s Day treat bags I posted the other day, so I decided to make some matching cookies. There’s something about these earthy rainbow tones that just really make me happy. Continue along for the recipe and how-to for these mini rainbow heart cookies.
Since I was planning on using a mini cookie cutter, I didn’t want to make too much cookie dough, so I cut my typical recipe in half. The ingredients for the rolled sugar cookies are as follows – make sure to double the recipe if you’re wanting to bake 2 or more trays of cookies.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Baking sheet
- Rolling Pin
- Heart shaped cookie cutter
- Silpat or flour-dusted work surface
In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth (about 3 minutes). Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface or Silpat. [Note: I prefer the Silpat, because I can just transfer the mat directly to a baking sheet without having to move the cookies…and non-stick surfaces and dough are always a win-win.] Cut shapes into dough with your cookie cutter, leaving the cookies in the same position (this helps them keep their shape and not move during the baking). I know there’s many rolled cookie recipes that instruct you to space out sugar cookies on a baking sheet, but I don’t like to do this as I find the shapes can often become a bit deformed. You do lose a bit of dough with my method of choice, but in the end…totally worth it (in my personal opinion). Either way, once your cookies are ready for the oven, bake for 6-8 minutes.
Let cookies cool completely before getting to the decorating.
Part 2 – Sugar Cookie Icing:
For the decorating, I typically make royal icing but decided to go with a simpler icing for these cookies. Follow along with the recipe below.
Ingredients Needed (per color):
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk (+ 1-2 tbsp for the flood icing)
- Optional: Food Coloring
- Pastry Bags (or small squeeze bottles)
- Mixing bowls + forks
- Sharpie or permanent marker
For each icing color, you’re going to combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, 1/4 cup milk, and a couple drops of the color of your choice. Mix together with a fork or whisk until it’s all combined. The consistency should be stiff, but still able to move around when you tilt the bowl. If it’s too stiff to move, you can add a teaspoon of milk. Once you’ve achieved the stiff (but moveable) consistency, add a little less than half of the icing to a pastry bag and twist/tie to close the bag. Mark this bag of frosting with a “B” for border. Then, add 1-2 additional tablespoons of milk to your bowl. If the color noticeably fades, add another drop of color to match that of your initial icing batch. Once you’ve mixed it all together you should have a less stiff icing (this is your flood icing) – pour the icing into a second pastry bag, close the bag, and mark this bag with a “F” for flood.
Go ahead and repeat this process for every color you plan on using to decorate your cookies. For my rainbow hearts, I used five different colors, so I had 10 pastry bags with icing ready to go before I began the decorating (the photo below is just my “B” bags).
Once your cookies have completely cooled and your icing colors are prepped, it’s time to decorate. For each cookie start with making an outline around the cookie with the “B” bag. Let the cookie sit for a couple minutes to set and then fill in the center of the cookie with the flood icing (“F” bag) of the same color.
Now, there’s one downside to the easy icing – this icing can break easily if it moves around within the first 24 hours, so it’s best to make these cookies the day before you plan on taking them out the door. While waiting for them to set, let the cookies sit covered, in room-temperature. Placing them in the fridge within the first 12 hours may cause the icing to crack and break. Since I am planning on handing out some of my Valentine’s treat bags filled with these cookies as well, I waited 24 hours before placing them in the bag. But now that the wait is over, I can’t wait to start handing these out! For the Valentine’s Day Treat Bags DIY and free Printable, head on over HERE.