Sunday, March 14, 2010

Conversation Heart Cookies

Conversation Heart Cookies
by Nadine Bailey

Cookie Dough
1 cup unbleached all purpsoe flour
¾ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks, or 12 tablespoons) BUTTER, do not substitute with margarine
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Buttercream Frosting
4 tablespoons ( ½ stick) BUTTER
1-2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*optional: for chocolate, reduce powdered sugar by ½ cup 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Rolled Fondant (can be bought or homemade)[Editor's Note: She used Marshmallow Fondant, recipe above.]

Heat oven to 300. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, sift flours, cornstarch, baking powder and salt and set aside (I place all in a bowl and use a wisk to mix them together). In a large bowl use an electric mixer on medium to beat the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and lightened slightly in color. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during the mixing. Mix in the flour mixture just until the flour is incorporated and a smooth dough forms. (I have added a small amount of milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough doesn’t clump to form a smooth ball).

Mold into a ball and chill for 1 hour (or 20-30 min in the freezer). Dust workspace with a mix of equal amounts of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Roll dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Use heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out cookies and place on parchment paper.

Bake at 300 for 20-30 minutes (depending on size of cookie- they should look a little underdone, but lightly brown on the bottom). Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

While cooking and cooling cookies, make buttercream frosting. Place some white in an icing bag with small round tip (#3 or #4). Using red gel coloring, make some frosting bright pink and place in a piping bag with tip #1 (smallest round tip).

Make fondant colors as desired. Roll fondant out on shortening-greased work space to 1/8-inch thickness. Using same cookie cutter as used for cookies, cut out heart shapes. Pipe an outline of buttercream frosting on the cooled cookie, place cut fondant on top. Dust with dusting powder (equal mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar) and smooth with fondant smoother or fingers (*caution- watch out for cookie crumbs!)

Using bright pink frosting with small round tip (#1), pipet different sayings on hearts. Examples: smile, cutie, Hi!, Bye-Bye, Friend, Call Me, Sweetie, Hello, Cool, Smile, Be Mine, Love, an so on.

Allow frosting to set (about 2 hours). Store tightly covered at room teperature for up to 5 days.

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