Decorating Valentine Cookies with Chocolate
Delicious heart-shaped cookies are quite popular for Valentine’s Day. Decorating with chocolate is so simple, even children enjoy creating their own cookies. Chocolate, a popular traditional sweet for Valentine’s Day, is great for piping borders or coating cookie tops and also pairs well with raspberry preserves.
White Chocolate Instead of Royal Icing
White chocolate makes a terrific substitute for royal icing. It is less sweet and much more flavorful. Simply melt in the Proofer, temper, and spread over cookies to frost them. For a crisp texture with shine and snap, temper the chocolate after melting by stirring in a little seed chocolate while it cools.
Melt and Temper White or Dark Chocolate
To melt chocolate, break into pieces and place about three-quarters of the pieces in a bowl. Reserve the remainder to use as “seed” chocolate. Set up the Proofer without water in the tray and set the thermostat to 115 °F / 46 °C . Make certain the entire Proofer is completely dry. Place the bowl of chocolate in the Proofer and allow it to melt slowly and safely while rolling the dough or baking the cookies. Four ounces / 113 g of chocolate will melt in 60 minutes or less, larger quantities will take longer.
To temper the chocolate, remove it from the Proofer and add the reserved seed chocolate. Stir gently and continuously until the chocolate reaches a working temperature of 90 °F / 32 °C. If piping with the chocolate, fit a bag with a very small tip and place the tip side down in a heavy mug or glass tall enough to support the bag. Be sure the open end is folded and secure so that the chocolate does not leak out. Pour the tempered chocolate into the bag and close it.
To hold the chocolate, lower the Proofer setting to 90 °F / 32 °C. Set the tempered chocolate in the Proofer to maintain its temperature. Accurate temperature control in the Proofer allows time to work with chocolate before it sets and makes frosting and piping the decorations easy to schedule.
Elegant Swirls are Simple to Make
To make elegant, professional-looking swirls on cookies, simply frost with white chocolate, then quickly (before it sets) place three dots of dark chocolate on top of the white chocolate. Use a thin knife to connect the dots, starting just before the first dot and extending the line past the last dot to form the swirl. Store your knife or any tools in the Proofer between cookies so that they do not cool the chocolate you are working with.
Read more about how to temper chocolate.