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Juliet's love heart cookies

Just in time for Mother's Day, Juliet Sear's love heart cookies are absolutely wonderful and super easy to make. We can testify this after extensive testing...

Ingredients

For the vanilla cookie

200g soft salted butter200 g golden caster sugar 2 tsp vanilla bean paste1 x medium free range egg lightly beaten.400g plain flour, sifted plus extra for dusting

For the icing

Ready to roll icing sugar (you will need about 30g per cookie. Knead the food colouring into the ready to roll icing before rolling out. We used pink, mint green, lemon and cream) A couple of tbsp. royal icing powder (coloured with red food colouring) A little warmed apricot jam

Pre-heated oven at 180 degrees

A round 8cm cookie cutter and a heart cutter slightly smaller than the circle

Method

For the vanilla cookies

  • Mix the butter, sugar and vanilla into your mixing bowl and mix on slow or by hand until just combined. Don’t be tempted to beat like a sponge mix until creamy, or your cookies will spread when baking. The mix should still look granulated but be all incorporated, use a spatula to make sure you get all the lumps from the side of your mixing bowl if using a stand mixer.

  • Add the egg and mix on a slow speed until fully incorporated

  • Tip in the flour, the whole amount is fine and mix until a dough is formed. If the mix is a little sticky, additional flour may be required or alternatively if it’s a bit dry add a few drops of water until the dough is perfect. You will know it’s right when the whole dough comes together without leaving sticky traces on the bowl and it forms into a nice shiny pliable ball in your bowl.

  • Roll the dough out on a clean, floured surface using plenty of pain flour underneath to prevent sticking. If you have them, use the guide sticks on your rolling pin, this will ensure you get an even thickness, if not, just take care to apply even pressure, and roll to an approx. depth of 5mm thickness. This will make sure they all bake evenly.

  • Next cut your shapes out with a round cookie cutter or a card template

  • Bake in the oven for around 10- 15 minutes for small to medium size cookies, check after 10 minutes as all ovens vary. The cookies should be a light golden brown, firm and springy to touch. If you press your finger on the dough (don’t burn yourself though!) if there is still a finger indentation, it’s not quite ready you need them to be firm enough and cooked through. Cool on a rack.

To decorate

  • Roll out the coloured sugarpaste to approximately 2/3mm thickness. Take your round cutter or template and cut out your sugar circles.

  • Brush the cookies with jam and lift the sugar circles onto the cookies. Once you’ve got them in place gently press each one to stick down.

  • With the heart cutter or template, make an impression by pushing the heart into the circle. This will give you a perfect guideline so you can trace over a neat heart, which helps if you aren’t the best at steady piping.

  • With your raspberry pink royal icing start at the top in the middle, with gentle pressure start piping. Do this slowly, lift the piping bag up slightly above the cookie and allow the line to drop down slowly onto the heart shape using gravity. This will make your line nice and neat and less wobbly. Once you reach the bottom point. Stop squeezing your bag and gently touch the nozzle into the heart at the surface and pull the bag away. Repeat from the top down again along the other side of the heart shape.

  • Personalise all of your cookies with writing to create Mothers Day greetings. Leave to dry for at least 12 hours, then you can give them to your Mum or anyone you want to make feel special, pop them each into individual bags and tie with some ribbon for the perfect edible gift!

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