Hearts and Stripes Forever...

Picking a favorite cookie is like picking a favorite child. Well, that one is actually easy for me since we only have the one, BUT...I can imagine.

double-decker striped heart cookies
I was talking with a 4H group last week (why did I now know about 4H when I was in school...and is it too late for me to join now?); one of the students asked what my favorite decorated cookie is. This one popped into my head.

I have lots of other favorite cookies, but this one I love for its simplicity, I love for its stripes, I love for the colors. I love it.

double-decker striped heart cookies

Time to revisit the Double-Decker, Stripey Valentine Cookie!
*portions of the post were originally published in 2012

I have a deep love for the horizontal stripe.  I know, I know, they are not figure-flattering.  So, how about if we EAT the horizontal stripes, instead of wear them?  That won't make us look fat, will it?

{Don't answer that.}

double-decker striped heart cookies

These are some of the simplest cookies to make.  And what makes them extra special is that they're double-decker!  The cookies are just attached with a bit of royal icing...it's like yummy, yummy glue.

To make the cookies, you'll need:

First, use a #3 tip to outline the square cookie.  I used a #3 here because I really wanted the outline to show.  Switch the tip to a #2 and outline the hearts in red.

Go ahead and save some of this piping consistency red icing.  You won't need it until the next day.  You can just plop the icing bag right in your fridge.

Thin the red icing with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup. You'll want to drop a "ribbon" of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of "one thousand one, one thousand two." Four is too thick, one is too thin. Count of 2-3 is good. Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.

Stir gently with a rubber spatula to pop any air bubbles that might have formed.  Pour into a squeeze bottle.

Fill the hearts with the flood icing, using a toothpick to guide to edges and pop large air bubbles.  Set aside to dry overnight.

Thin the white icing and the colors for the stripes, using the method described above.  Transfer to squeeze bottles.

Working 6 cookies at a time, flood the square cookies with the white icing.  Guide to the edges and spread with a toothpick; pop large air bubbles.

{We're working 6 cookies at a time here to give the white a few minutes to set.  It helps prevent bleeding. If you wait too long, though, the icing won't lie flat on the base color and will be raised up.}

Starting with the first cookie flooded, add stripes in the colored icing.

Let the cookies dry overnight.

The next day, remove the reserved piping icing from the fridge.  I like to let it come to room temperature, but you don't have to.  You may need to remove the tip and push a toothpick through if the tip is clogged.

Squeeze a little of the icing on the back of the small heart cookie.  You don't need much, and you don't want it to ooze out the sides.
how to make double-decker striped heart cookies

Gently press it onto the square cookie.  Let dry for about 30 minutes to an hour to set.

double-decker striped heart cookies
I'm definitely partial to the black stripes, but the other colors are fun, too! Hello, yellow!

Are you dreaming of decorating Valentine cookies, yet? 
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