You know you’re a mom when showering becomes an item on the to-do list. When diapers are a line-item in your budget. When a good night’s sleep is 5 consecutive hours. When folding laundry means catching up on an entire episode of Grey’s. When you start decorating cookies with stamps to make Heart Stamped Cookies. That’s when you really know you’re a mom.
Since becoming one, I now firmly believe moms (and dads too) are the most efficient and innovative people on the planet. Ok, I’m tooting my own horn a bit. But they accomplish what every CFO is trying to achieve: do more with less. What once took 40 hours a week to complete, now takes 20.
My extremely business-savvy friend says, “Find a pain point. Create a solution. And sell that because it will sell.” People want solutions. Mom’s have 10,000 pain points because (unnaturally) the number of hours in a day doesn’t increase with the number of kids. It shrinks. So come Valentine’s Day or Be Crafty Workshop, they stamp cookies. I stamp cookies.
The inspiration of these heart stamped cookies (aside from the aforementioned) came from Amanda’s announcement for the latest Be Crafty Workshop—a black and white heart stamped towel. I love many things about Amanda, but I especially love the color palettes she creates. Black and white for Valentine’s Day? Finally.
I knew the food had to pick up Amanda’s initial inspiration. I also knew I’d only have tiny chunks of time to make everything fresh just prior to the event. (I have a tiny 1-year-old shadow.) I also, also knew I’d have to rethink some of my old decorating ways to make them kid-friendly for the sanity and fun of my future. So, I identified a pain point. Came up with a solution. And stamped cookies for you, for me, and for the little people who want to decorate cookies too. Now give me all your money. Kidding! Here’s a free, hopefully fun, Valentine’s Day idea—Heart Stamped Cookies.
Decorating cookies using royal icing is hard work and not so kid-friendly. A day in advance, bake and apply a base layer of royal icing yourself. Think of it like applying a blank canvas. The next day, invite the kids (or adults) to stamp away. Stamp messages or hearts. Just keep it easy and fun.
Make sugar cookies.These are my favorite from Bake at 350. They make about 30 2.75″ round cookies. Be sure to keep the dough on the thicker side when rolling out for the best falvor and texture. I always catch myself rolling too thin. Allow cookies to cool completely on cooling rack before icing.
Make a batch of royal icing. I like this recipe, skipping the corn syrup, or this recipe using raw egg whites. Add a splash for almond extra either way for extra flavor. If you’re new to royal icing or not, read through this post for guidance as royal icing is finicky.
Place cookies on a baking sheet for easy transport and storage. Outline the cookies to create a damn, then thin the icing and flood the cookie. Allow to dry completely overnight, uncovered. Then store covered.
When ready to decorate, apply a small spoonful of the black food coloring to a plate. Add a couple drops of water to thin the mixture. Mix and spread a thin layer over the plate. (You don’t want to goop up your stamp with a thick layer of “ink”.) Place the stamp in the food coloring, stamping a time or two on the plate to practice the right consistency. Lightly stamp each cookie. Allow to dry completely before stacking or packaging, 1-2 hours.
I’m not a huge fan of food coloring. When I do use food coloring, I like India Tree or Watkins, both natural. When stamping though, gel paste, not so natural, seems to work the best (think of it like acrylic paint as oppposed to watercolors). Traditional food coloring creates a watercolor effect, which is also pretty and a bit more organic in appearance.
Not into baking or making royal icing? Have no fear! Order cookies with white royal icing from your local bakery.
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