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…
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
Here are the cutters I used for all three cookies:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Before I slip the Letter E into the O, I cutout the small triangular tip where the V will merge into the E.
And…this is what it will look like when you merge all of the letters together.
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.
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.
Okay, and on to the last cookie…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 😉
The first thing I add are some strings to the letter O (using a number 1 tip) which will hold some pretty little hearts.
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.
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!
I then went ahead and added a simple string with a bow (using number 1 tip) to the letters V and E.
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.
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.
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)