Valentine Cookie: LOVE

Hello Fellow Cookie Lovers,

I think you are going to like this post.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s a fun cookie to make, and, it will also teach you how to use any Letter Cookie Cutters you have in different ways.  This post is a bit different in that it is the first time I am making this cookie design so you will get to see what turned out right, what could have been better and how to get around things that may not turn out the “exact” way you wanted them to.

I tried three designs with the word “L-O-V-E” and I’ll show you how to cut all three and decorate the first one.  Once you do the first one you can basically figure out how the other two are done – and even create your own designs!

So here are the finished cookies…

"L-O-V-E" Cookies using LETTER COOKIE CUTTERS
“L-O-V-E” Cookies using LETTER COOKIE CUTTERS

So, let’s begin. Here is what I used:

Letter Cookie Cutters: “L, O, V, E”

Heart Cookie Cutter

Mini Round Cutter

Mini Heart Cutter

White Piping Icing

Red Piping Icing

White Flooding Icing

Red Flooding Icing

Number 4 tip

Number 1 tip

THE CUTTERS

Here are the cutters I used for all three cookies:

Letter Cutters: L-O-V-E
Letter Cutters: L-O-V-E
IMG_1307
Letter Cutters: L-O-E Heart Cutter in place of the Letter V

I should mention that I’m going to be doing A LOT of letter cookies as my Sister gave me the entire alphabet for Christmas!!!  So much fun.  I can’t wait to get my hands on other sets (Especially the ones by Ximena) and explore further.  But, I don’t want to get ahead of myself here!

The Cutouts

Okay, so once you have your dough letters (and/or heart) cut out, you want to arrange them in the way that you want for your design.

L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts
L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts
L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts Arranged
L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts Arranged

Notice how I have laid them out, overlapping to make a cookie that, when cooked, will blend together to form a solid cookie out of the four letters.  This part is important; you want to get an idea of how you’ll pipe your design at this step, so it’s a good way to see what letter will look good in front or in back of another letter. SPECIAL NOTES: I have to admit, when I cut the first set of letters, they got soft as I started to cut, press together, photograph, etc. so here is an important couple of tips.  First, after you cut out each shape, place them on a tray and freeze them for about ten minutes to get them firm.  Then, take out the shapes you are going to use and work with them very cold.  They cut and merge better.  Two, place the shapes on your baking sheet BEFORE you start your second cuts and putting the letters/heart together.  I learned this as I was doing it.  Since my dough was so soft, it was impossible to transfer the cookies to my Silpat and cook!  So I did it over directly on my Silpat and it worked out fine.

Now, don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged at this point, the actual cutting of the shapes really is easy but it may look difficult in my pictures.  It’s really not difficult, just take your time. The first thing I did was to take a small knife and cut some small guidelines where the cookies overlapped. This served as a guide to cut the one letter into the other.

L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts Arranged
L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts Arranged
Use the small guidelines to cut into each letter
Use the small guidelines to cut into each letter
Cutting into the letter O
Cutting into the letter O

In the picture above, you’ll see that I used those small guidelines to position the letter L onto the letter O and cut into it.

The L cutout into the letter O
The L cutout into the letter O

This is what it should look like.  You then simply take the letter L and insert it into the cutout area of the letter O and nudge the dough together as in the photo below.

The letters L and O merged
The letters L and O merged

Next, we’ll move on to the letters V and E.  Again, I’ll use my guidelines to cutout the dough in order to merge the V and E into the overall design

Guidelines for the letters V and E
Guidelines for the letters V and E
Cut out the letter E into the letter O
Cut out the letter E into the letter O
Letter E ready to merge with the letter O
Letter E ready to merge with the letter O

Before I slip the Letter E into the O, I cutout the small triangular tip where the V will merge into the E.

Cutting the tip of the letter V into the letter E
Cutting the tip of the letter V into the letter E

And…this is what it will look like when you merge all of the letters together.

Merged Letters prior to baking
Merged Letters prior to baking

Remember, this was my first attempt with the “soft” dough and I re-did it directly on my Silpat pad after freezing the cutout shapes for ten minutes.

Letters re-done directly on my Silpat Pad
Letters re-done directly on my Silpat Pad

Much better!  And, you can also see I went ahead and using a small round cutter, I cut a hole in the letter O.  I offset it for some extra fun!

Okay, onto the two other cookies.  I’ll fast pace it here so you get the overall idea of how I cut each one just so you can see how it was done.  Pretty much all the same; it just requires some thinking and arranging to get what you like.

L-O-V-E with a Heart. This is how I overlaid the letters before cutting and merging them.
L-O-V-E with a Heart. This is how I overlaid the letters before cutting and merging them.
Cutting the Heart into the letters L and O
Cutting the Heart into the letters L and O
I then cut the letter E into the letter O
I then cut the letter E into the letter O
Here is what it will look like before you merge the letters and the heart
Here is what it will look like before you merge the letters and the heart
And...here is what the merged cookie will look like.  In this cookie, I used the mini heart to cut the middle out of the letter O.
And…here is what the merged cookie will look like. In this cookie, I used the mini heart to cut the middle out of the letter O.

Okay, and on to the last cookie…

This is how I overlaid the letters for this design.
This is how I overlaid the letters for this design.
Cutting the letters for merging
Cutting the letters for merging…hmm, somehow I didn’t take a picture of cutting the letter O into the letter L…oops, sorry.
And this is the final merged cookie prior to baking
And this is the final merged cookie prior to baking

So, now that we have everything cut and ready to bake – Bake Away!  I thought I would show you two views of how the cookies baked – the front of the cookie, and the back. The reason I want to show you the back is so you can see how fully the letters/heart merge together. This is what you want to achieve – fully merged letters/heart so the cookie is solid and can be handled more easily.

3 Designs prior to baking
3 Designs prior to baking
3 Designs after Baking (front)
3 Designs after Baking (front)
3 Designs after Baking (back)
3 Designs after Baking (back)

Decorating the Cookie!

I started by outlining the entire cookie with the number 4 tip.  I used a thick tip to do the border because I want the cookie to look as if it is one big cookie, and, by adding a thicker border, it will sort of group the letters together.  I then used a number 1 tip to outline the interior parts of the letters in preparation for the flooding.

Cookie Prior to Outlining
Cookie Prior to Outlining
Outlined cookie with number 4 tip
Outlined cookie with number 4 tip
Here is the cookie with the interior outline as well as the O flooded with white
Here is the cookie with the interior outline as well as the O flooded with white

In the picture above, I went ahead and flooded the O with white flooding icing.  Next will be the letter V in white but I am going to also use the red flooding icing with the number 1 tip to add a wet-on-wet stripe design. Work quickly after you flood the V with white as you want the red to sink into the white and have a smooth surface when it dries.

Flood the V with white flooding icing
Flood the V with white flooding icing
Work quickly while the white flooding icing is still wet - add diagonal red stripes using the red flooding icing and a number 1 tip
Work quickly while the white flooding icing is still wet – add diagonal red stripes using the red flooding icing and a number 1 tip

It’s coming together!  I do love to see the transition of the cookie!  On to the red!

I go ahead and flood the letter L and then move on to the letter E.  Similar to the letter V, I used a wet-on-wet design for the letter E so I used the red flooding icing as my base and then used the white flooding icing with a number 1 tip to add the dots.

I flood the letter L and then the letter E.  Again, work quickly to add the white dots to the wet, red icing on the letter E
I flood the letter L and then the letter E. Again, work quickly to add the white dots to the wet, red icing on the letter E

Now the part we all hate…let it dry overnight.  I KNOW!!!  I hate it too!  I have no patience, but really, it is worth it.  You’ve gone through so much to get to this point, let it dry thoroughly, you’ll be glad you did.

Adding the Final Details

Yaaaay! Day two…you did let it dry overnight…didn’t you?  Now comes the fun part.  So, remember I said I was taking pictures as I did this for the first time?  Well, here is one of those situations where I came upon a problem after the cookie dried overnight.  If you look closely at the letter L, you will notice it dried with some white areas around the edges.  This sometimes happens if too much water settles into the one area, or if I didn’t properly run a toothpick through the color to make sure it had no air bubbles, etc.  So, a bit of a design change will cover up this problem.  I was originally going to leave the letter L red, but now it will get some nice dashes and dots! 😉

Dried Cookie (notice the white patches on the edges of the letter L)
Dried Cookie (notice the white patches on the edges of the letter L)

The first thing I add are some strings to the letter O (using a number 1 tip) which will hold some pretty little hearts.

Add some stripes to the letter O making sure to leave some space below the end of the line to add a small heart
Add some stripes to the letter O making sure to leave some space below the end of the line to add a small heart

Now I go ahead and add the small hearts.  If you are a beginner, here is how these simple, little hearts are done.  I used a number 1 tip for this.  You simply start with a dot and while letting up on the icing flow you drag the dot into a small line.

First part of heart - a little dot that is dragged to a short line by dragging the tip and easing up on the icing flow
First part of heart – a little dot that is dragged to a short line by dragging the tip and easing up on the icing flow
Complete the heart by adding a second dot/line to the other side connecting the two points
Complete the heart by adding a second dot/line to the other side connecting the two points

Ta-da! Heart!

So finish up adding the hearts to all of the strings in the letter O. I then added some dots (bottom picture) around the hearts so they weren’t hanging out there all alone!

Finish adding the hearts to the end of each of the strings
Finish adding the hearts to the end of each of the strings

I then went ahead and added a simple string with a bow (using number 1 tip) to the letters V and E.

Add string and bows to the letters V and E using a number 1 tip
Add string and bows to the letters V and E using a number 1 tip

Almost there!  That pesky L!  I simply used a dash, dot, dash, dot line across the letter to cover up any of the whitish areas in the letter L.

Add a dash, dot, dash design to the letter L
Add a dash, dot, dash design to the letter L

Lastly, I decided to go ahead and outline the letters with the number 1 tip.  Sometimes you don’t need it, depending on how nicely the individual letters were flooded…hmmm, I did a bit better on the second LOVE with a heart.

Outlined Letters
Outlined Letters

And you are done!  Nice, right?  I kind of like this idea of merging letters.  I hope you try your hand at this.  Even if you don’t use it for Valentine’s Day, it has so many uses!!!  Let your imagination go wild – names, short sayings, words of inspiration, etc.

And here are the finished cookies.  I like the two Valentine designs and the third design I decided to try out my painting skills again for a Baby Design (love baby cookies!!).  It’s something I just started doing on cookies after seeing so many amazing hand-painted cookies by other Cookiers.  Can’t say I’m great at it, but I keep trying it in small doses and it’s fun.  We have to keep challenging ourselves. And I added a recent “Happy New Year” set I did where each of the letters were separate. So see, it may pay to put a complete alphabet set on your Birthday list, right?  If, however, you just want to start with a few letters, most online sites sell letters separately, and if you happen to have a Sur La Table in a mall near you, they sell letters separately for $1.25 each (New York price)

LOVE Valentine Designs
LOVE Valentine Designs
Love Baby Design
Love Baby Design
Happy New Year Letters
Happy New Year Letters

Happy Baking.

Diane

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