Adventures In Valentines Day Baking :)

Happy Valentines Day! :) 

I hope you are all enjoying the LOVE that this day is full of; whether you are celebrating with friends, family, or that special someone! Valentine's day is super tons of chocolate, get flowers, and receive sweet cards, but most importantly, I think that if there is a day where we celebrate love, we should think about our Lord and Savior and how much love he has shown us! He is our example of perfect love. Tomorrow, I'm going to make sure to set aside a Valentine's date with my God; as he reminds me how much he loves and adores me, and I thank him and show my love and appreciation for him! Are you going to set up a special date with your Savior tomorrow?! :)

Last Thursday my roommate and I made large chocolate chip heart-shaped cookies for our boyfriends for Valentines day; so here is our adventure in pictures, and some advice to go along with making one of these cookies if you're interested! :) 

The Ingredients:
To make the cookies we used:
1. A round baking sheet
2. Non-stick cooking spray
3. Pillsburry Pre-made cookie dough
4. Decorative icing

No, we did not make them home-made (we are broke college students with a budget and time crunch!) so we just bought the pre-made cookie dough (which is just as, if not more delicious!). We just followed the baking directions on the wrapper when baking the cookies. When baking the larger cookie however, we started out putting it in for about 8 minutes, and then let them bake for about 4 more minutes; so about 12 minutes total. It really depends on your oven and the size of your cookie; so just make sure you are watching and checking on it while it is baking! We were nervous that the cookie would bake too much on the outside, and not enough on the  inside; but it actually baked really well throughout and we didn't have any problems! :) We also sprayed the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Since it was one large cookie, we didn't want it to stick to the pan. We also waited a couple minutes before taking the cookie off the pan so it wouldn't break in the transfer.

Molding the dough into a heart
When it came to forming the dough into a heart, it DEFINITELY spreads out when it is baking. I'm sure there is some heart shaped mold you can use while baking, but I have yet to find one. The picture above on the right is the original size of my cookie before I baked it, but it didn't quite turn out that size because it definitely grew even bigger! After the first 8 minutes of baking, we had to take a knife and re-shape the cookie back into a heart. Also, since we were traveling with our cookies, we had a certain pan size that they had to fit into so we could take them on the road. (good idea by Linda; we bought those "lasagna" type disposable baking pans to put the cookies in, so she just baked hers cookie in that. Bad thing about that; she had more problems having her cookie bake in the center). So after they were done baking, we ended up carving them down a little bit so they could fit in the pan! In the end, I would say they turned out pretty well!

After "carving" it to make it fit the pan
Our cookie creations! :)

My finished product :)

Tip when decorating: I definitely messed up (you can kinda see the smudged frosting by the "J" in Josh's name!) If you mess up, wipe it off right away. It doesn't make too big of a mess. Also, the Betty Crocker frosting (the pink frosting that we used) is kinda runny; so I would stay away from it! Plus, it was a lot more expensive! Our hearts each cost about $12 to make. To save money, buy the cheaper frosting, and get the smaller role of cookie dough. Remember, it expands, so you actually don't have to use as much dough!