With love in the air, you can make these iced conversation heart cookies, adding your own personalized messages for those extra special people in your life!
Are you looking for the perfect rolled sugar cookie recipe to make Valentine’s Day treats? With all of the recipes I have tried, America’s Test Kitchen recipe is by far the best! The dough is very easy to roll and handle.
The recipe doesn’t even need extra flour because the dough is not very sticky. With love in the air, you can make these iced conversation heart cookies while adding your own personalized messages to friends, family, and those extra special loved ones in your life.
Border and Flood Icing Technique
There are many different techniques and recipes for icing cookies. I wanted to try theKitchn’s “border and flood” technique for this recipe. You essentially use a thicker icing to create a border design and allow to dry slightly. Next, you flood the inside of the border with a thinner icing. It worked great. However, it took a very long time to dry and harden. I also think that I added too much water to the “flood” icing, so it had some wrinkles on the surface of the cookie when it dried. Next time I will use less icing for the flood and make it thicker with more powdered sugar for a more consistent surface. If you are pressed for time, I would recommend using a royal icing recipe that contains meringue powder, for a quick dry and still use the “border and flood” technique with the royal icing.
Border Icing Tips
For the border icing or for writing messages, the icing should have the thickness of creamy peanut butter when you pipe it, but easy enough to push trough your piping bag. You want the icing to hold in place and not run off the cookie or letters to run together. I always add some icing to my piping bag, write a few letters and see if it will hold its shape or design. If it doesn’t, add more powdered sugar!
Flood Icing Tips
The flood icing should be a little more loose, creating a smooth ribbon when you lift it in the bowl with a spoon, similar to Elmer’s glue. That way it will be easy to spread! I noticed that the less water you add, the quicker the flood icing will dry. It takes about 24 hours for this icing to dry, longer if the icing is thick. It may take a few tries, but just continue to check the textures of your icing, adding more powder sugar to thicken, and a little bit of water to loosen the icing.
For coloring the icing on the conversation heart cookies, I recommend Wilton Gel Icing Colors. You only need a very small amount of gel color to achieve the colors you want and the icing does not get diluted. I use a toothpick to transfer a small amount of gel color to the icing, then mix with a spoon while adjusting the intensity and hue of the colors as needed.
I didn’t write any messages on these cookies you see in this article but I did use them for a BIG surprise! These conversation heart cookies were the perfect way to create a very special message in my Baby Announcement post, by far my most exciting news this year!
What to know about cookie dough
TIP #1: It’s important to rest and chill the cookie dough in between mixing and rolling. This allows the proteins in the dough to relax and not be tough when you roll out the cookies. The chilling allows the butter to solidify slightly, so it’s easier to cut and transfer the cookies to the baking sheet. You want your sugar cookies to be tender yet durable for decorating.
TIP #2: It’s important to just mix the dough enough so that it comes together. If you over work the dough with excessive kneading, the cookies will become tough and not have a nice crumble due to additional gluten bond formation. With the scrap from your first roll out, you can gently recombine and roll out once more, cut and bake. The cookies will become tougher if you continue to recombine.