Now that Valentine's Day is over, you're probably not all that interested in finding out how hard or easy it is to make shortbread conversation hearts. Just consider this advanced preparation for next year, my friends.
Here's the 10-second sound bite: It's not as easy as it looks.
Seven and I got the idea to make shortbread conversation hearts after checking out a post from Evil Mad Scientist. It seemed easy enough and we decided on one his random days off of school, we would do a test batch of cookies from beginning to end. Only we didn't account for two unexpected events: one, I sprained my ankle and foot and two, our dog thwarted our efforts (more on this in a sec).
We made one batch of shortbread cookies using a recipe from AllRecipes.com and divided the dough to make red and blue batches.
The shape held reasonably well and the cookies were tasty.
We decided to let them cool before spraying them with Seven's chosen "conversation" phrase: "U Rock!" And here's where our test kitchen project took an unfortunate turn.
Luna Lovegood ate the cookies.
Yes, that's right. She ate 12 cookies filled with butter, sugar, flour and food coloring. We blame this unruly activity on the husband, who was home sick and left the kitchen door opened after instructed to Keep. it. Closed. Dude. But he had a man cold, and you know how that goes. So he was forgiven for being in a foggy haze and I said, "Poor little bunny" while rubbing his forehead. (The last part is an utter fabrication but it's my favorite part of the scene.)
Dog eats cookies and gives us a look much like this one. It's too late in the day to make more. Mama is tired and her ankle is swollen and hurts. We postpone our activity until a few days before Valentine's Day.
The kid and I make new batches of cookies. The batter spread in the oven, losing all form, so we took a smaller heart cookie cutter and made cute one-inch hearts. (I also stopped taking photos at this point.)
And here's the other ugly part of the story.
We put our cardboard stencil over a few cookies and sprayed them with Wilton Food Color Spray. The spray seeped into the cookies and blurred, making the "U Rock" completely illegible. And our hands? Green green green. For two days.
We aborted the project and decided to just put two cookies in each clear treat bag. Seven came up with the idea to make the labels/cards for the cookies. It was quite an intricate process and I tried to convince him to do something a little easier, but he won. Mostly because the first one he made was for me.
I'm not sure what went wrong in the project; it could have been the recipe or it could have been the stencil not being large enough, or the whacked-out food coloring mist (that sh*t is not bananas). I think it's super cute idea and I'm certain we'll go for it again when we're ready for green stain on our hands.
For now? We'll stick with something less colorful.