This is Atti’s first year bringing Valentines to school, so I had to come up with something great. Of course, trying to come up with a Valentine’s treat for a Special Ed class is a pretty big challenge. A lot of these kids have motor issues like Atti, so candy is too hard to eat, pencils or art supplies won’t get used. My solution was those wonderful fluffy sugar cookies I shared yesterday, customized to be the valentine themselves.
Make up a batch of sugar cookies cut into whatever shape you want. A heart is obvious for Valentine’s Day, but you could do letters for monograms or even plain circles and add your own decorations. Mix up a batch of royal icing, tinted the color you want, and put it in a squeeze tube like you’d use for ketchup.
Here’s my personal royal icing recipe:
3 Tbs egg white egg beaters
1 C powdered sugar, give or take to get it thick but not too thick
Some recipes call for meringue powder, which can be difficult to track down, and using raw eggs presents a bit of a food safety issue, so I’ve solved this problem with using a pasteurized egg white product. I just pour the eggs into my squeeze bottle, add the powdered sugar a little at a time, and shake to combine. The consistency is very forgiving, you just want it thick enough to not run off the cookie and thin enough to still puddle nicely. Anywhere in between those two points will work.
When it comes to customizing, there are no limits. Once the royal icing is dry you can pipe on a different color of icing, add buttercream, whatever, but I wanted to avoid piping and still personalize them, so I used these food coloring markers I found at my local bake supply shop. I experimented with using liquid food coloring, or gel food coloring, but these worked the absolute best.
Making this experimental batch I just used the markers to write right on the cookies, but if you hate your handwriting you could use stamps by coloring the stamp with the marker and then pressing it into the cookie. I plan on presenting these in a little clear bag with ribbon and a tag and I think they’ll be darling.
I think when I make these for Atti’s classroom, if I’m feeling a little ambitious, I might just write his classmate’s names with the markers, and then embellish them with more royal icing. I’m not confident enough in my piping skills to write the whole name that way, but I bet this would look adorable with little white dots dressing it up. I can definitely do dots.