Heart-Shaped Goodness

It's often said that the way to a person's heart is through their tummy.  If that's indeed true, you'll find an easy path all laid out in this yummy post.

In honor of Valentine's Day, I've created some delicious treats that you won't be able to resist making for your loved ones, starting with the dainty delectables in the photo below.

Blog hearts cookies4

 

I've never made cookies topped with fondant before, but this was actually pretty easy to figure out.

I was inspired to try something new in the kitchen after seeing the February issue of Romantic Homes magazine which features some scrumptious looking Valentine's cookies this month.

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Of course, you can't let the Valentine's season pass without pulling out the heart-shaped cookie cutters and putting them to good use.

As you read further down in this post, you'll see that these cookie cutters can not only be used to create some wonderful desserts but an equally lovely lunch as well.

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Use the cookie cutters to make a few dozen cookies from your favorite sugar cookie recipe.  Set aside.

Then roll out a sheet of fondant.  Fondant is typically used in cake making and can be found in the baking section of many crafts stores.  It often comes in a white block but color can be added by kneading-in a fondant icing gel.

Cut heart shapes from the fondant using the same size cookie cutter (or slightly smaller) that you used to shape the sugar cookies.

TIP: If coloring fondant by hand, be sure to wear gloves as you knead-in the color because staining can occur.  Also fondant has a very bland (almost non-existent) taste.  You can correct this by kneading-in a fondant flavor which can be found where fondant is sold.

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After cutting out the shapes, I used the flat portion of a wooden skewer to create impressions all the way around the heart-shaped fondant pieces. 

Drop sugar pearls into the impressions and then use the skewer again to push pearls into the fondant just below the surface.

Blog hearts fondant4

I also cut out these fondant frames with the initial intention of using them on the cookies in some way.  The frames didn't really work for the look I was after but I wanted to share this photo anyway because I think these are just so darn pretty.

I'll definitely keep this fondant frame idea in mind for some future recipe.

Blog hearts frames

Getting back to the heart-shaped cookies, apply a thin layer of frosting to the back of the fondant shape to adhere them to the cookies.

Stick sugar pansies in position on the cookie using a small dab of frosting.  It's always nice to stumble upon a unique resource for supplies and I was thrilled to find these pretty pansies at a recently-discovered neighborhood baker's kitcden.

I really love how these cookies turned out and they really represent the soft, elegant look I was striving for.

TIP: Consider this same idea using appropriately-shaped cookie cutters for other holidays and special occasions.  Change the cookie shape to match themes for Easter, birthday parties and bridal or baby showers to name a few.

Blog hearts flowers

If you plan to give these cookies as a gift you'll need to box them up in a memorable way.  It just won't do to stuff these particular cookies into a plain baggie if you know what I mean.

Pretty packaging requires only a few supplies including white cookie boxes, (1) artificial flowers, (2) rubber stamp, (3) satin ribbon, (4) mini alphabet stamps, (5) floral ribbon to wrap the flower stems and (6) blank gift tags. 

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Cut a few stems off the floral arrangement and wrap the lower portion with floral ribbon.  Stamp the gift tags with the rubber stamp image and use the mini alphabet stamp to label as desired. 

Box the cookies and tie the container with ribbon.  Trim the ribbon to form points on both ends.  Slide the stem into place behind the ribbon and add the gift tag.

I think this packaging is as beautiful as the cookies and this would be a wonderful gift for any loved one this Valentine's Day. 

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If you're thinking about serving your sweetie breakfast in bed on Valentine's Day, how about this dish?

These heart-shaped pastries can be made in advance, frozen and then baked right before serving. 

Blog hearts pastry duo

These plastic, pastry molds come in a variety of shapes and are fun and easy for the whole family to use.

You can use pre-made pastry dough or make your own.  Roll out the dough and use one side of the mold to cut out the heart shapes.

Blog hearts dough 

Open the mold and position the first dough shape inside.  Fill the pastry with a favorite pie filling and then cover with the second heart-shaped dough.

Close the mold and press gently.  This seals and crimps the dough.  The pastry pocket is now ready for the freezer or oven.

Blog hearts pastry3

Before baking, apply a thin layer of egg wash over the top of the pastry and then sprinkle with a small amount of sugar to create hint of glaze.

 

Before serving, shoot a cupid's arrow through the heart of the pastry and the recipient will love you all the more.

Blog hearts pastries

Look up the word "decadent" in the dictionary and you may find a photo of this next confection. 

It doesn't get much more decadent than this heart-shaped, dessert with it's combination of dark chocolate cake with a rich, creamy chocolate icing and tasty, ball-shaped toppings.

Blog hearts trio4

These chocolate mini cakes are all more simple to make because of these bakeable paper pans.  Just pour the cake mix into these heart-shaped, bake and give pans and place in the oven.

No need for metal pans.

Blog hearts paper tins

I found that if the mini cake doesn't quite rise to the rim of the paper pans during baking, just carefully trim the paper down so that the paper edge is level with the top of the baked cake.  It just looks better that way.

Stream chocolate balls along the edge of the cake to make a truly appetizing statement.

Blog hearts choc balls

 

If you are more in the mood to skip the cake, you can still have your chocolate.

These chocolate hearts would be a perfect Valentine's Day hand-out for classmates and/or co-workers.

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To make these candies, you'll need a variety of chocolate wafers which can be found at most crafts stores in the baking aisle.

Separate the wafers by color and then melt in the microwave.

 Blog hearts candy2

Spoon a small amount of the melted chocolate into a plastic candy mold and pop in the freezer to harden faster.

You can also find these molds at most crafts stores right next to the wafers.

Blog hearts bowl

Make a heart-shaped tag in keeping with the theme and then tie chocolate-filled candy baggies with assorted matching ribbon.  
 
   Blog hearts wide

Time out on the sweet stuff.  Time now to apply the heart-shaped theme to lunch. 

Start by lightly coating bread slices with olive oil.  Toast the bread on a panini press or grill pan until you see those great grill lines.

 

 

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Once the slices have cooled, cut the inside of the bread using the heart-shaped cookie cutter.

I will say, if I had known I could only get one heart per bread slice I would have selected a wider bread for this recipe. 

Blog hearts bread cuts

Use the same cookie cutter to cut the same shape from your favorite cheese.  Add condiments and then pile on delicious deli meat.

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Spear the sandwiches with heart-tipped toothpicks to hold everything in place and you have another great (and easy) presentation.

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Up the love factor in this Valentine's-inspired dish with an unexpected twist on the side order.

Heart shaped chips anyone? 

Blog hearts chips 

Wash a handful of large potatoes.  No need to peel them unless you really want to.

Thinly slice the potato length-wise and use the cookie cutter to create the hearts.  Deep fry or bake.

TIP: You may only be able to get one heart per slice with these but don't throw away the potato scraps.  Cut the leftover pieces into strips and deep fry or bake those too.  Your family will love them just the same.

Blog hearts potato1

Season the potato chip hearts to taste with salt and pepper and serve to the delight of friends and family.

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As you can see a little creativity in the kitchen can go a long way this Valentine's Day.

No doubt, your loved ones will appreciate your culinary efforts when it comes from the heart.  Or should I say when it comes in the shape of a heart?
 Blog hearts mosaic final

OK, enough already with the drooling.  Time to dig into some of this heart-shaped goodness.

Happy Valentine's Day! ā™„

 

  • Cheryl

    What a great collection of recipes! Thanks so much! While we regularly do heart shaped sandwiches, the chips are a great inspiration! Thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    What a lot of heart felt goodness in this post. Every heart cookie is the best. I impressed by that. Every thing looking awesome.

  • Susie

    Lisa, I’ve just found your blog through a book I recently purchased entitled, “Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey. What a nice blog and a wonderful resource. I’m definitely hooked!

  • Nikki Brey

    Those are the PRETTIEST heart shaped cookies I have ever seen. You are so amazing!

  • Alison

    Those lovely hearts things look very nice, I am a bit heart obsessed, I collect. But it really is your amazing photographs that always look so fantastic!

  • Berta

    What a lot of heart felt goodness in this post! Thanks so much for sharing! I am going to try out thr fondant this weekend, those cookies are beautiful!

  • Jackie

    Oh Lisa! All of the hearts….just so inspiring. You just do these things with so much love and passion in your heart. That’s what makes them so special and beautiful!

  • Sweet heart care

    Very different and creative blog…..Thanks for sharing.

  • Carolyn

    Just browsing the blogs and came across yours…I love it!!!

  • Cheri

    Oh YUMM-OLA! My mouth is watering just looking at your post! I can see you and your family will be celebrating Valentines in a lovely way. šŸ™‚

  • jerusalem

    that is a great post full of yummy and beautiful ideas! I will have to give some of these a try!

  • Staci

    These are so so pretty! TFS!

  • Vicki

    You have outdone yourself…again!

  • Meredith

    Wow I am going to try the heart pastry for my Dh. Your blog is lovely. This was a great post!

  • Emily R.

    Mmmmmmmm….Thanks for the yummy inspiration. I’ve been looking for some valentine treats! You are great! What an inspiration!

  • cricri

    Dear lisa
    Your cakes are fabulous and your chocolates make me very envious. Good idea for this Saint Valentine Day to realize a heart-shaped meal.
    I congratulate you on this idea.

    Kisses goodbye,
    your French friend
    Cris

  • Julie Size

    Ahhh – perfection…and WAY too pretty to eat!

    Can I come and spend the day with you???

    ha ha
    Julie

  • Judith Tetley

    Oh my goodness Lisa….this post is absolutely stunning!! You have been so creative with your yummy food items and are so generous to share the makings of them. May I snag a couple of pics to show on my blog?? I’m sure my friends would like to pop over and see the whole post.
    Kind Regards
    Judith
    http://creativestudio10.blogspot.com.au

  • hearts812

    I just found your blog through Dear Daisy Cottage. Love this post as I adore Valentine’s Day…but not for the typical reason…my oldest son was born on Valentine’s Day. Love all your heart creations and plan on using several in the next week. Thanks!

  • tara

    cute cute cute ideas, I love the sandwiches and the potatoes, too sweet! I could use those ideas to mix in with my hubbies dinner on V-day~ happy Valentines day to you!

  • Florentine Lily

    Lisa – beautiful ideas! I loved the heart filled pastry so much I have ordered the press! My family will love the little desserts.

  • Meg

    Oh my goodness! Such great ideas… The cookies look too beautiful to eat! And heart shaped potato chips? How cool is that?

  • chris

    OMG! I think you should open up a bakery! You did a wonderful job on these yummy creations!Great post~:) chris

  • Allie

    Well – I happen to hate Valentine’s Day – but I’d love to come over and eat all day!!!!!!! Beeeeee-utiful goodies, Lisa!

  • Shell

    This is a fab post. I love how you show us to use hearts in many different ways with all different kinds of foods.

  • Terri

    You make all these lovely treats look so easy! Thanks for sharing the recipes and techniques. That cake looks to die for! I love the addition of the chocolate balls. Nice touch with the cupid’s arrow through the mini pies too. Now I wish we were having a Valentines day party so I could serve this menu!

  • aichaku

    omg u have some awesome ideas!! i wish i was your neighbour or a friend who could just pop by and exchange ideas and gifts with you. šŸ˜€

  • bridget {bake at 350}

    Oh my gosh…I want to LIVE in this post!!!

  • Judith Norman

    This is why I look forward to the 1st & 15th of every month. Love this post so much. Great job, Lisa. I am so inspired.

  • happy zombie

    I just found you via Nanette (Freda’s Hive)… where have you been all my blog life? Love. Your. Blog.

  • happy zombie

    I just found you via Nanette (Freda’s Hive)… where have you been all my blog life? Love. Your. Blog.

  • Kaja

    Aaaaah! Your blog posts should come with a warning!

    Warning for considerable drooling in your keyboard, and very high credit card bills from buying things you never knew you needed before.

    But, with these lovely pictures of yummy things, how can you resist!! Mmmm.

  • Lalia

    Amazing work and PATIENCE. You have created some amazing masterpieces, almost too good to eat. Almost anyway.

  • stripeydots

    You’ve inspired me with the beautiful cookies and fondant! Thank you for sharing /=)

  • Ali

    This is a visual delight – I especially love the heart-shaped potatoes.

  • Cassandra

    How cool is this post? SUPER COOL! What a lovely way to start out the month.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Kisha

    I couldn’t wait to see your Feb 1st post! Just hoping it would be all about Valentine. And as usual, your work is wonderful. I love all the heart shaped goodies.

  • anita

    Great ideas, thank you – now I’m hungry!

  • Thimbleanna

    Oooh, it’s all so beautiful Lisa! And thanks for the tip on flavoring the fondant — I’ve always stayed away from it because of it’s cardboard-ish taste. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    (Sorry if this is a repeat — I got an error that said my comment couldn’t be posted!

  • Thimbleanna

    Oooh, it’s all so beautiful Lisa! And thanks for the tip on flavoring the fondant — I’ve always stayed away from it because of it’s cardboard-ish taste. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Diana P.

    That all looked so delicious! I think I gained 10lbs just by reading your post!

  • Laurel Harper

    This post is full of lots of great ideas, but, wow. Lisa. Those pink cookies are absolutely beautiful. Thanks, as always, for sharing such great creativity!

  • Suzanne

    Fabulous ideas!!! And lovely photos, too!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Suzanne

  • Vicki B

    This is simple gorgeous! I love everything – now I will need to think of something for a dinner and the whole day will be complete with hearts! Thank you!!

  • Karla

    As always all fabulous ideas! I’ve yet to work with fondant as it seems so labor intensive. The cookies are beautiful. I believe Fancy Flours sells the sugar flowers as well. I was planning on making some homemade potato crisps this week – might give them a heart shape now!
    Karla

  • Suzie Hampton

    Lisa- You totally “outdid” yourself! What an amazing blog!! I love all the ideas!! That was like 6 posts all in 1. Keep up the good work. I picked up a little something for you. I’ll run it by your house this week before we leave town.

  • Jackie

    I definitely need to eat something after this post. All the heart goodness is fabulous!! I love the cookie, cakes, well everything. Thank you for such wonderful ideas!!

  • Stephanie

    Oh my goodness I need one of each with my morning tea. I heart Valentines. Such terrific ideas. I used to cut my kid’s sandwiches with cookie cutters–hearts were the favorite. :o) I’ve recently discovered a love of using puff pastry. Thanks for my terrific ideas.

  • adrienne

    How gorgeous is all this heart shaped goodness!! I love it!

  • Mary Poppins

    Now I am drooling šŸ˜‰ Thank you for sharing your beautiful yummy and delicious photographs, I wish I could pop right into my screen and have a taste šŸ™‚

    X

  • Marian

    LOVE ā™„ā™„ them. Awesome, tahnks for the ideas. Now I HAVE to bake lol.