Happy Valentines Day! I have ignored Valentines Day in my baking for the past couple of yers, but this year I am back in because the opportunity to make something cute and pink was just to hard to resist.
A couple of weeks ago on Martha Stewart's show, I saw Dani Fiori make the most adorable owl cookies ever, with heart-shaped eyes. You can find the recipe here (for "Lovebird Cookies"). I was in hook, line and sinker, even though I knew they'd be a lot of work.
In the work department, they didn't disappoint, but they were a lot of fun to make (at least for the first few!). I didn't use the cookie or icing recipe given on Martha's site, because someone else had said they didn't like it much taste-wise. Accordingly, I went back to the reliable Peggy Porschen recipe that we used when we did decorated sugar cookies with the Daring Bakers, which tastes good and holds its shape.
Making the cookies is all about patience and assembly more than anything. First, you bake your cookies:
Once the cookies are cool, make royal icing in the colours that you want (I used candy pink, red and orange, just like Dani Fiori), and load it into piping bags or squeeze bottles. I just home-made paper piping bags because I find them easy to make and use, but you can use what is easiest for you.
For your base icing colour, once you have the free-flowing icing consistency to the icing needed for flooding, take out some of it and make it stiffer with more icing sugar so that you can use it to outline the cookies:
Next, take your base colour in free-flowing form and flood the cookie outlines, using a skewer to spread the icing into the nooks and crannies:
While the icing is still wet, pipe lines on your owls in the contrasting colours:
then drag a skewer or toothpick through the lines in an up then down, up then down pattern to give the owls feathers.
Pipe on the owl's feet (I used red icing), or use candies if you have any small enough, and add beaks (cut from red sweets - I used red lips and raspberries), and heart-shaped fondant cutouts for the eyes. I piped a dab of icing onto the hearts to attach the centre of the eyes (in the form of sugar dots):
Ta da! Lovebird Cookies.
For the rounds, I just flooded them in the base colour, then piped on alternating red and orange dots round the edges:
then dragged a skewer through the dots to make hearts around the edges:
Pretty, aren't they:
and fun to make:
Hope you have a fabulous Valentines Day!