I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Which may be the worst possible way to start a post about heart shaped cookies with little love messages on them – but, there it is. All those hearts, and the pink and the red and the flowers and the mushy sentiments, they just make my skin itch. Do we really need an entire day every year where, for the most part, expectations must fall short of reality? I mean, come on, even in grade school I knew that just because the cute boy in class gave me a card with Snoopy holding a heart didn’t actually mean he *liked* me. And then the competitive craziness that went on (between the girls, of course) in high school – UGH. Don’t even get me started on all those years in your teens and twenties when you’re single and as if being single on your birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s wasn’t bad enough, Valentine’s Day was always there to give you one swift jab in your lonely, mate-less side. Good times, people, good times.
But then, there’s the sugar. And the chocolate. And the cookies and the candies. These are things I like. These are things I can get behind. And if those chocolates and cookies and candies are also part of a craft project, so much the better! So let’s make cookies. With words on them. The words are up to you: fun, mushy, silly, or otherwise – I won’t judge. Especially if you send me some of these cookies, since I already ate all of mine.
One year ago on C&T: Cinnamon Marshmallows
Two years ago on C&T: Sweet Potato Fries
Valentine (or Any Time) Message Cookies
- one batch any flavor shortbread dough (see this recipe and this recipe), rolled and cut into heart shapes
- message templates (see below–you’ll need paper, a printer, clear packing tape, a sharp craft knife)
- cocoa powder and/or sanding sugar
To make your own message templates, find a simple, bold font on your computer and type your message in all capital letters. Make sure your viewing screen is set to 100% so that you are viewing the message at actual size. Choose the cookie cutter you want to use and hold it up to your computer screen over your typed message. Size your font so that you have it as large and bold as possible, while it still fits inside your cookie cutter outline with at least an eigth inch between the letters and the edge of the cutter. When it looks the way you want it, print the message out on the thickest paper your printer can handle. Place your cookie cutter over the printed message and trace its outline. Cut out the paper in a square about an inch larger than the cookie cutter on all sides. Cover both sides of the paper with clear packing tape (or laminate it if you have access to a laminating machine). Using a sharp craft or exacto knife, cut out the letters in your message BEING CAREFUL TO LEAVE A SMALL PAPER PIECE ATTACHING THE CENTERS OF LETTERS LIKE “O”, “P”, “R”, etc. You may want to take a pen and draw your cutting lines on the letters before you start cutting, to make sure you have a plan. In the picture at the top of this post, you can see where the “B” and “O” on the vanilla cookies had little pieces of paper attaching the center to the outside, leaving a small gap in the cocoa powder message.
Once you have rolled and cut your dough, place the dough shapes on parchment or a silpat mat on a cookie sheet. Spray the back side of your template very lightly with cooking spray. Place your template over the cookie, making sure your message is centered over the cookie. On light colored cookies, spoon sifted cocoa powder over the letters in your template, covering thickly and mounding up slightly. On chocolate cookies, use coarse grained sanding sugar (white or light colored). Do not use fine grained baker’s sugar or powdered sugar – your message will melt and disappear during baking! Very carefully remove your template by lifting straight up. Shake excess cocoa or sugar off template before moving on to next cookie.
Place cookie sheet into freezer for 10 minutes, then bake as directed in your cookie recipe.