Monday, February 4, 2013

Jeweled Heart Sugar Cookies

Diamonds and pearls are usually given in jewelry boxes for Valentine's day, but this year I'm giving them in cookie tins!  These faux precious stones are made of sugar and entirely edible.

The jewels came from a favorite online baking supply shop (here). They'd catch my eye every time I browsed the edible decorations section and I'd always wondered if they were as pretty in person as they were in the pictures online.  Boy, are they ever!

The large jewels are $15 for eight, or you can get sixteen clear diamonds for the same price. I think they are lovely, well packaged and worth every penny. That said, they also sell the molds inexpensively so I ordered a couple to see if I can make them at home. I'm eager to see how they turn out!

Tiny 2mm dragees were used to create the illusion of "prongs" for the jewels.  I was able to place them with my fingers, but a pair of sugar-crafting-dedicated tweezers might allow for easier and more precise placement.   

The clear diamonds are my favorite. They bring just enough bling and look great with any color frosting or fondant. The larger stones are best displayed on white because their color looks truer and brighter on a stark background.

The sugar cookie recipes are from the SprinkleBakes book and are my top pick for decorating. They hold their shape well and are slightly sweet; a perfect vehicle for the sweetest frosting your heart desires (though I've been known to eat a stack of 'em plain)

I used fondant on these cookies, and if you're a fondant hater then I'd suggest you try Satin Ice brand ready-made fondant. It's soft, marshmallowy-tasting and not overly sweet. I bought it on Sweetapolita's recommendation and I've been hooked ever since.  If you've tried Satin Ice and still don't like fondant, then you probably just don't like fondant. You might find rolled marzipan a more pleasing alternative.

Vanilla or Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Yield: Approximately two dozen             
This recipe is a great blank canvas for whatever cookie art you're dreaming up.  To make the chocolate version, omit the almond extract, replace 1 cup of flour with 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and blend it with the flour in step 3.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies
1/2 lb. (two US sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until just incorporated. Do not over-mix at this stage, or the cookies may spread while baking.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and almond extracts. Mix again on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently as needed.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.  Add to the butter and egg mixture.  Mix on low speed until a dough is formed and there are no longer any streaks of butter in the mixing bowl. The dough will often clump around the paddle attachment while being mixed. This is normal and a good sign that your dough is the right consistency.  If your mixture does not come together and is crumbly, add ice cold water 1 tbsp. at a time until the dough clumps.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and top with a second sheet.  Roll dough into an oblong disc between the paper with a rolling pin.  Transfer dough - wax paper and all - to a large cookie sheet.  Wrap the dough tightly onto the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Remove top sheet of wax paper and roll dough a little thinner.  It should not be sticky.  You may dust the surface lightly with flour if it is sticky, but not too much!  You don’t want streaks of white flour baked onto your pretty sugar cookies.
  7. Roll dough to a ¼-inch to ½ -inch thickness.
  8. Cut out desired shapes from the dough and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Be careful not to stretch the cutout shapes or they will be distorted after baking.
  9. Refrigerate the cutouts for 30 minutes. This will help the cookies maintain a crisp shape during baking.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  11. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes.
  12. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Decorate the cookies when completely cooled.

Jeweled Heart Sugar Cookies
Yield: About fifteen 4-inch cookies
[click for printable version]

I used a large 4 1/2-inch heart-shaped cutter to cut the smooth-edged heart-shaped cookies. A slightly smaller scalloped heart-shaped cutter was used to cut the fondant. If you don't have a smaller sized heart cookie cutter to cut the fondant, you can use the same one that you used to cut the cookie dough.

1 recipe Vanilla Sugar Cookies, baked into 4 1/2-inch heart shapes
1 recipe Chocolate Sugar Cookies, baked into 4 1/2-inch heart shapes
3/4 lb Satin Ice ready made fondant, white vanilla
Pink gel food coloring
Pearl dragees
2mm silver metallic dragees
An assortment of edible jewels
4-inch scalloped heart-shaped cutter
Fondant quilting tool or toothpick

Fondant quilting wheel.
  1. Divide the fondant in half and tint one portion with a little of the pink gel food coloring. Knead both pieces of fondant well. Roll out one piece of fondant with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch thickness on a confectioners' sugar-dusted work surface.  Keep the other piece covered or sealed tight in a zip-top bag for later use. Cut heart-shaped pieces from the fondant with the scalloped cutter. Cover them with plastic wrap so they stay soft and don't dry out. Brush a baked cookie's center with a little water using the artists' brush.  Place a fondant heart on top and press gently.
  2. With a quilting tool or toothpick make perforated lines that intersect on the fondant's surface (It should look quilt-like). Use a piece of thick craft paper as a straight-edge if you have trouble keeping your lines straight.
  3. Place pearl dragee on the "x" where each line intersects. Press it into the soft fondant with your finger. 
  4. Place a jewel in an upper corner of the heart and press it firmly into the soft fondant.  If the jewel doesn't want to stick, brush a little water or corn syrup on the bottom to adhere.  Place 4 evenly spaced 2mm dragees around the small jewels, and 8 (2 per corner) for the large jewels.  Press them in with a fingertip.
  5. Repeat with remaining fondant and cookies.
  6. Store in an air-tight container.


Much Ado About Somethin said...

Beautiful! Love these.

Tiffany @ Savor Home said...

Your photos are so inspirational!

Maggie @ A Bitchin Kitchen said...

These are stunning, and look delicious!

Vicki @ WITK said...

Wow, these cookies are so stunning! Love these edible jewels, I'll have to head to my baking store and see if I can find them!

Aubree @ Macarons and Stilettos said...

Can I just say these are gorgeous?! They are so awesome that I literally have nothing else to say ( * o * )


Angela @ the fairy bread chronicles said...

oh my goodness, your desserts are always the most beautiful things ever! and the edible jewels just take it over the top! amazing!

Sarah said...

These have reached Alice in Wonderland levels of cuteness, and intricacy. I want to write "Eat Me" on them! Beautiful work, as always.

Olga P said...

Wow! I don't think I could eat such beauties!:)

Cakelaw said...

I love these - gorgeous!!!

Cakelaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bits of Sunshine said...

these are so pretty! I have also always wanted to use edible jewels. You have used them in such a tasteful way - this is so elegant and pretty!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So pretty! A great Valentine's Day treat.



Kulinarny Zenit said...

OMG ;) it's so lovely!!! said...

Wow! These are so pretty! What a lovely design!

FoodNerd x

latisse said...

all cookies are good but i like jweled heart sugare cooky most.

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Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie said...

Absolutely stunning, Heather!

paddlemama said...

Have you ever tried Fondarific? It is WONDERFUL tasting fondant. The coffee flavor on a chocolate cake is my favorite. They have many flavors and colors. Give it a try and see what you think. It's the only fondant I use now.

Heather said...

Loved seeing your hand in one photo - it showed the scale of how lovely and large these cookies are and the scale of the jewels! I've often wondered about those! Such a pretty idea - those quilted bejeweled hearts are so special!

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Absolutely gorgeous! And you are so right about Satin Ice! I love it...and it smells fantastic!

Mariquiña said...

Amazing! I totally want some of those jewels ASAP, and the molds, too, but I can't find them on the website :(

Congratulations, your job is stunning!

Kavi said...

Picture perfect! I'm with you - I could eat a stack of those myself :)

Darla | Bakingdom said...

So lovely!! I ordered candy jewel molds over a year ago, and I've still not used them. What can I say? They scare me... These cookies are so beautiful, though...maybe I'll finally give them a go!

Katrina Bahl said...

These are the prettiest cookies that I ever did see!!!!

Sophie Denise said...

I love sprinklebakes! I've been reading for months and have finally started up my own little foodie blog. Would love it if you (and your readers!) took a look. xxx

Becca said...

Oh. My. Word. These are so beautiful and elegant!

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts said...

Sugar cookies are always a favorite at my house. These are just gorgeous, not sure I could bring myself to eat them :)

Lynna said...

These are fabulous! Loving the idea, Heather!

Caitlyn Wu said...

Beautiful! By the way, do you know what kind of filling is used to make sandwich cookies like you'd find in Oreos and such? I want to know what that filling is called (it's not fondant) and how to make it! Also I saw your book at JoAnns Fabrics today, nice job!

Unknown said...

Too beautiful to eat. By the way my boyfriend has bought me your book as a Valentine's gift - I can't think of a sweeter present!

Annie @ Annie's Noms said...

Oh gosh these are so adorable! Wouldn't want to eat them as they're too pretty!

vanillasugarblog said...

You know, you could have a food truck selling just these and you would make people very happy while making a ton of money.
the end

Mamaicymouse said...

Beautiful cookies, I love the sugar gems and will have to try them out. For an application like this I'd use homemade marshmallow fondant - cheaper than the purchased and is pretty darn tasty. You just need to make it a day or two in advance.

jen said...

Hello! Been following your blog for a few weeks now and LOVE it! So inspirational, keep up the great work.

Lora said...

Those jewels are gorgeous. I've made some bu they never turn out as good looking. Such a beautiful touch on those lovely cookies.

Colette Just for Foodies said...

So pretty! I almost wouldn't be able to eat one.
Almost. ;)

Sue said...

SO pretty! The jewels are such a nice touch!

scattycrafter said...

Wow these are so pretty and sweet. I have seen the sugar jewels before, but love the way you have used them. Good luck with the mould I look forward to seeing how they work out.

Leonor Cerveira said...

Que aspecto divinal e delicioso ;)... Adorei :)... Bjokas...

Tiffany said...

Wow, this is really nice. I'm not much of a baker but this recipe looks fairly easy and I wanted to give it a try. Just one question, after you place the fondant onto the heart shape cookies, do you still need to bake them in order for them to set in? Thanks

Heather Baird said...

You put the fondant on after the cookies are baked, so there's no additional baking after you apply the fondant. Does that help?

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