Valentine Conversation Heart Cookies with Jello-Flavored Glaze

This year for Valentimes (as my daughter, The Princess, and every other kid under 7 calls it) I wanted to make cookies that look like those conversation heart candies. My idea was to use the Williams-Sonoma Message in a Cookie cutters, stamp the message, and then trace that over the icing with an edible marker. They didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped, but they were still pretty tasty. I also thought it would be neat to color the icing, so I got an idea from the boards to color it with Jello flavoring. Unfortunately, the pin is only a photo, with no link, so I cannot give anyone the credit they deserve. But it worked out pretty well, I must say. The photo on Pinterest looks like this:

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My friend at Snack Bakery loaned me the cutters, and she recommended that I use the Williams-Sonoma recipe and be sure to chill the dough before cutting. She’s the expert, so I followed her advice.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 TBS (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room-temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Sift together flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat butter on high speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add the sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl.
  4. Add egg and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute.
  5. Stop mixer and add half of flour mixture, and beat on low speed until most of the flour has been incorporated. Stop mixer, scraped down sides of the bowl and repeat with the other half of the flour.
  6. Beat for 2-3 minutes, until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  7. Divide dough into two balls, then flatten those into discs. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or more. (up to 2 days)
  8. Preheat oven to 350. Cut cookies into shape and bake on sheets lined with parchment for 12-15 minutes. Makes 12-15 cookies. (I got 18.)

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First I beat that butter, and it turned out smooth and fluffy. I was so happy with the results, that I am thinking of using this techniques whenever I bake with butter.

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The other ingredients incorporated without incident, so I added half of the flour, and then the other half. I did make one change though. Instead of using 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, I used one teaspoon of vanilla and one of almond extract, just to give it a little more flavor.

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The dough was removed from the mixing bowl, and split into two relatively even-sized balls,

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which were then flattened into discs that were about 1/2″ thick.

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I refrigerated them for two hours, and when I took them out, the dough was really hard. As I rolled it out to cut it, it split on the edges. I much preferred it a little more pliable, which it became after a few minutes. The cookies were then cut, stamped and baked. William-Sonoma recommends that you dip the stamp into some flour before you use it, but I found this step unnecessary, and a little messy.

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After they had cooled, it was time to make the glaze. Since there was no recipe with the pin, I had to come up with something via trial-and-error. This was what I found worked best, though the Jello amounts varied a bit. I would suggest starting with this, and then adding more Jello according to your taste.

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS milk
  • 5 TBS confectioners sugar (add more if you need to thicken the glaze)
  • 1 tsp corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp powdered Jello mix (add more to achieve desired flavor and color)
  • This will give you enough glaze to cover 4-5 hearts.

These were stirred together, milk and sugar first, then Jello and corn syrup. I used an icing bottle to apply the glaze to the cookies, but here is where I started to think I didn’t really need to stamp the cookies because the stamp disappeared under the glaze. I think I had figured that the icing would just fall into those indentations, which I would then be able to trace with the edible maker, but that turned out to be an incorrect hypothesis.

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Then I used the edible marker to write the sayings on the hearts, but this was difficult with those indentations because in those places, the glaze was weaker, so the pen often broke the surface of the icing. I think if it hadn’t done that, the writing would have been a lot more legible. Maybe I should have used an icing writer instead…

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BUT, bottom line, these cookies are DELICIOUS. The icing does carry the Jello flavors that were put into them, and those flavors really play well with the cookies. YUM. Happy Valentine’s Day, Yo!

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