Last weekend, I decided to break out my brand new KitchenAid stand mixer (thanks, hubby!) and make royal icing for heart-shaped Valentine's cookies. I had only made royal icing once before and it didn't come out that well (turns out I didn't mix it long enough so it was too thick). This is definitely a pretty precise science. You have to mix it long enough to get thin, but not too long or else it gets thick again. The rewards are well worth it though! Royal icing is beautiful and easy to work with. You can find the recipe here.
I started out with a pre-packaged sugar cookie mix, rolled it to 1/4" thick and cut the hearts.
I loved these wavy-edged cookie cutters.
Ready to go into the oven.
Meanwhile, I mixed the royal icing according to the directions in the link above. Sifting the powdered sugar as it suggested was more time-consuming than you would think. I gave up on sifting after a while. I couldn't tell the difference.
The recipe suggests using food coloring gels, which I highly recommend as well. They come in a wide array of colors and are available at Michaels, Walmart, etc. This color was supposed to be a light pink, but apparently I added too much pink food coloring, so it was a very dark pink. It was hard to tell the difference between the pink and the red, but I didn't feel like starting on a new batch just to get a pink. It was still a pretty color.
I put the icing in plastic squeeze bottles, per a Martha suggestion when making these cookies on her show during Christmas time.
Here they are, all decorated!
Happy Valentine's Day!