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Welcome to my Sweets Blog!

Welcome to my Sweets Blog!
I've been looking for a way to share my sweet creations with everyone, and I think I have found it--here is my sweets blog! As I experiment with delicious desserts & sweet treats, I will post pictures, recipes, and how-to tips & tricks. Hope you enjoy reading about my sweets as much I enjoy eating them!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mommy-to-be & Baby Heart Cookie Pops

These cookie pops were made for one of my girlfriends from all the way back in elementary school, who is expecting her first baby! I consider myself part of a lucky percentage of folks to be in my *very early* thirties and still have close friendships with ladies from high school, middle school, elementary school and even preschool! It also just so happens that this particular new-mommy-to-be friend of mine also happens to be one of my biggest cookie supporters--always bringing my cookies and cupcakes to parties and spreading the word about my "little" hobby to her own friends and family. Of course, when the group of us girlfriends were planning a new-mommy gift basket, I knew I had to make her some cookies of her own to enjoy!



I think I also had Valentine's Day cookie ideas on the brain while I was making these, because I went with a heart theme. Actually, the last time I made cookie pops was last Valentine's Day... I made some heart cookie pops {check them out on my Flickr page here} but I wasn't entirely thrilled with how they came out, so I didn't revisit the technique for a while. This time around I perfected my cookie pop technique and I'm so happy to share it with you!


Let me start by saying there are LOTS of ways to make cookie pops. I've tried a few. Some are easy. Some are not. Some work. Some don't. This is just the best way that I've come up with after a what I'd say has been a fair amount of experimenting! 

Basically, if your cookie is big enough from top to bottom (like the two pops on the right in the picture below), there's really not much to it.  If you are making a smaller cookie pop, or you have a cut-out preventing you from placing the stick on the majority of the cookie (like the one on the left below) you need to add one more extra step to make sure the stick lies flat (more on this in a bit).

Here are the basic steps: 
1.  Make the sugar cookie dough. {Try my recipe!} 
2.  Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch thickness.
3.  Cut a few cookie shapes with your favorite cookie cutter (opt for long shapes rather than wide shapes).
4.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
5.  Use a spatula or pancake turner to transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheet, leaving room at the "bottom" of each cookie for the lollipop stick.
6.  Press the lollipop stick into the cookie, so the top of the stick lies somewhere between the top of the cookie and three quarters of the way up.  Press firmly enough to make an indentation, but not so much that it breaks through the cookie and touches the cookie sheet.
7.  Bake the cookies as directed by the recipe. 
8.  Let them cool at least 20 minutes directly on the cookie sheet. 
9.  Use a spatula or pancake turner to carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack. 

Here's a few pictures of these steps. (As I mentioned above, the cookie on the left needs an extra step...it's coming)...

You can see that the pop bakes right into the cookie! Yes, you can also see the lollipop stick on the front of the cookie. But this will be covered with royal icing later (which will also keep it nice and secure)!


Notice the little ball of dough at the bottom of the heart cookie? This is the extra step I was mentioning above. Let's call it step six and a half on the list above. If the cookie is on the smaller side, or you have cut-outs preventing you from placing the stick onto the majority of the cookie, the stick might not lay flat, and it might drop towards the cookie sheet. It did for me anyway. So I added a small piece of extra dough to prop it up a bit. This way, gravity wouldn't pull the stick down from the bottom end and it would bake nicely and evenly into the cookie, just like the bigger ones! The small piece of dough breaks right off the pop after it is baked & cooled. In the photos below, on a few of the cookie sticks, you can see a small tinge of yellow on the cookie stick where I broke off the dough piece. I felt it was a small price to pay for a perfectly secure cookie pops!




Once they are completely cooled, it's time to decorate with royal icing! My favorite part. Check out my recipes for Royal Icing here. There are two, one made with confectioner's sugar, meringue powder and water, and the other made with confectioner's sugar and egg whites. I prefer the one made with meringue powder, since I feel like I can manipulate the consistency better. 


The royal icing covers right over the surface of the cookie where the lollipop stick was showing. Once the royal icing hardens, that stick is not going anywhere! 



For the large squares, I tried something new with an edible pen that my sister got me for Christmas. Inspired by a baby shower invitation I saw on Etsy.com, I sketched out a silhouette of a mommy with a baby bump. 


Then I outlined the silhouette with white royal icing, using a very fine round tip (Wilton #1).  I realized later that I should have made the sketch slightly narrower or thinner than the actual shape I was going for, since the royal icing outline had to go on the outer edge of the black pen line (to completely cover it). So, my cookie had an extra plump mommy-to-be this time. I'm sure however that my expecting girlfriend who received these cookie pops will stay as petite as she always is! (Unless, of course, I keep making her cookies and sweet treats! hehe) 

After the outline set a bit, I filled it in with more icing. Then I added the words and the outline. 


I also added a little sparkle to these once all the icing dried, using a light coating of the Wilton Color Mist in Silver. 


For the rest of the heart cookie pops, I used a traditional baby color scheme, yellow, pink and blue, for the hearts...



and the squares...


I just adore the yellow and white combo!



I didn't get a great shot of the completed gift basket, but to display the pops in the basket, I propped them up by sticking them into a styrofoam block that I covered with tissue paper.  


Congratulations Nicole! Can't wait to meet baby-to-be!

2 comments:

  1. I love the yellow and white cookies too. Great tips on the cookie pops too

    ReplyDelete

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