In my ongoing journey from mid-twenties slacker to domestic goddess I have decided to challenge myself to try new things in the kitchen. This weekend’s goal was to bake heart shaped biscuits inspired by these Sweet Heart Sugar Cookies from the CakeJournal.
I loved how pretty these are with embossed patterns. However I thought that might be a little bit advanced for me. In fact icing has always been trouble for me. My old icing technique was to create gloop with water and icing sugar, dribble it inconsistently on the biscuit, spend 10 minutes trying to get it perfectly covered, run out of icing, lick the bowl, eat the evidence of ineffectual icing and leave the rest plain.
I wanted to get it right this time so I browsed the CakeJournal some more and found instructions for making royal icing and on how to use it flood biscuits. Here, was a new icing technique that I might have some success with!
I decided to stick with the CakeJournal and used their recipe to make the biscuits. So I began with mixing the dough and then lightly kneaded it on the counter. Except I had forgotten how to knead properly, so I just sort of folded and squished it for a bit.
I rolled out the dough and began cutting out heart shapes in three different sizes. This is when I realised that the dough was going to make a lot more biscuits than I anticipated. The recipe said that the batch would make 25-30 biscuits, I ended up with 60!
With the biscuits in the oven it was time to start making the royal icing. I separated two eggs to get the egg whites. I put the yolks in a cup thinking I might use them later for something else, then forgot all about them and had to throw them out the next morning. Then I spent what felt like hours sifting a vast quantity of icing sugar.
Mixing the icing was pretty fun. I set the mixer going and slowly added a little sugar at at time until I got to the ‘soft peaks’ stage! I filled a squeeze icing bottle and drew a thick bold outline on the hearts. The icing bottle was a new purchase and was very easy to use.
The instructions said to have a pin handy to pop any air bubbles that rose to the surface. I didn’t have a pin to hand so I used a cocktail umbrella instead.
I found that flooding the biscuits tricky at first. It seemed to take a lot of icing to cover the surface evenly, which meant I had to keep on refilling the bottle. Also my bottle-filling technique needs some work. My hands and the bottle got absolutely encrusted in pink icing by the end.
As I went on, I added more food colouring to create different shades of pink. By the time I was finished I was shattered but pleased with the outcome. My sweethearts looked adorable and tasted great. I let the icing drive over night and had a think about what to do with 60 sweetheart biscuits.
In the end I separated them into a few batches and gave them to some friends as a small gift of affection. It didn’t take long to think of people in my world who I could show a little love to, and now I am glad that I had made so many after all.
My gratitude goes out to Louisa from the CakeJournal for her excellent instructions and to my husband Rob, for his photography skills! I was not allowed to touch the camera with my flour sprinkled, butter streaked, icing caked fingers.