My Heart Belongs To U: Neapolitan Milk & Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Neapolitan Cookies via Sweetapolita

I hope you are having a great Saturday! So far, I’ve had a great day. I was able to drive into the city (Toronto) this morning (all alone!) for a much-needed trip to the hair salon, a leisurely shop at the most fabulous gourmet grocer, Pusateri’s, and, naturally, a quick stop to Starbucks for my drive home. I hope you’re also having a fabulous weekend, and that you’re able to fill it full of love-y treats and projects.

If you read my last post, you’ll remember that I just can’t get enough of the Valentine’s Day treats this year (and just love-inspired sweets all-around). I really wanted to get one more love-themed treat in before the weekend was over, so although this will be a short & sweet post, I’m so happy I was able to share these cookies with you. You know what else I can’t get enough of? Neapolitan! Strawberry, Chocolate & Vanilla–is there anything better? It makes me so happy with its fun colours and flavours combined; it really is the perfect trio.

Here’s the photo that was a big part of the inspiration for this Neapolitan Milk & Chocolate Sugar Cookie collection, from the Real Simple website. Don’t you just love these little milk bottles? I also love the little plate the bottles are on, because I have & adore the silk pillow and pencil case from this amazing collection from thomaspaul. Adorable. I also used my own Neapolitan 5-Layer Birthday Cake as inspiration, because I thought it really needed some matching cookies!

Neapolitan Cookies via Sweetapolita

These really are fun to make–they’re kind of like little fondant puzzles, and I would say that in the grand scheme of confection design, they’re pretty quick and easy! As you’ve probably noticed, I love using fondant for cookie decorating. I personally love the sweet vanilla taste of Satin Ice brand fondant, the beautiful texture, and lovely porcelain finish it creates for my cookies. Since I love not just the visual appeal of Neapolitan, but also the flavours, I couldn’t resist using the corresponding flavours for each cookie. I used a dark chocolate fondant for the chocolate bar and chocolate milk bottles; I flavoured the “strawberry” milk bottle/hearts fondant with LorAnn’s strawberry flavour oil (I haven’t done this before, and it is SO yummy!); and, of course, I used the vanilla fondant for the vanilla milk bottles/hearts.

Neapolitan Cookies via Sweetapolita

If you would like to make these cookies, here is the how-to:

Neapolitan Milk & Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Milk Bottles:

1. Cut out/bake/cool milk bottle sugar cookies  (or the cookies of your choice).

2. Dye white fondant strawberry pink (I used AmeriColor “electric pink”) and add a few drops (to taste) of LorAnn Strawberry Oil.

3. Roll pink, white, and chocolate fondant about 1/8″ thick, cut out milk bottle shape using cookie cutter, and cut out heart/hearts using small heart cutter.

4. Spread very thin layer of royal icing on cooled cookie and gently place fondant shape on cookie.

5. You will use the cut out chocolate bar heart to fill in your “puzzle” milk bottle heart (confused yet?).

Chocolate Bars:

1. Cut out/bake/cool rectangular sugar cookies (or the cookies of your choice).

2. Roll chocolate fondant (I use Satin Ice dark chocolate fondant and mix 50/50 with white fondant for milk chocolate colour) 1/8″ thick.

3. Using ruler edge, create a bar grid. Then, using same ruler, create diagonal lines across entire bar.

4. Cut out heart using same small heart cutter from bottles and place inside the missing heart in milk bottles.

5. Roll, cut, and insert a pink heart into the missing heart on chocolate bar.

6. Cut out an “I” and “U” using small letter fondant cutters and fill in with white fondant.

7. Spread a small amount of royal icing on cookie, and gently place the fondant on top.

This may sound confusing, but it’s so simple. Like I mentioned, it’s just like a fondant cookie love puzzle! Although they do make for ideal Valentine’s Cookies, I think they would also be gorgeous for wedding showers, weddings, birthday parties, and pretty much any celebration. Love seems to be the perfect theme for any party. Don’t you think?

I want to wish you all an amazing Valentine’s Day filled with love & cookies!

Good luck & enjoy!

Related posts:

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week. Has Valentine’s Day enamored you the way it has me this year? I just can’t get enough of it. I thought it would be fun to chat about a ridiculously yummy-yet-simple recipe. These Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts (usually “bars”) are as easy as it gets to make: 4 ingredients and 4 steps. No mixer, no bake, no candy thermometers. Does it get any better than this?

You know I’m the first girl to promote breaking out the confection-tool arsenal for highly decorated sweets, but sometimes, or possibly most times, we don’t have that much time on our hands. These highly-addictive treats (that you likely ate as a kid!) are so yummy and I love making them. The process is also super kid-friendly, which is always great around our house.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts via Sweetapolita

Although I have fond memories of this type of a treat at my school bake-sales in the 80′s, I had completely forgotten about them until Grant’s cousin, Leah, started bringing them to the family cottage. I couldn’t believe how addictive they were, truly. I know everyone says that about their favourite desserts, but I promise (and possibly warn) you that these are so much so, that I informed Leah that I would include them in my “what I would eat if I could only have one last meal” menu, and I meant it. I’m pretty certain that there is a highly scientific reaction that occurs between the peanut butter and butterscotch chips, that results in a flavour that humans are not meant to resist. Now, you do have to be ready for s-w-e-e-t; they are super-duper sweet, for certain. 

So here are the 4 ingredients responsible for this delicious treat: peanut butter, butterscotch chips (I use high quality, such as Guittard, because they are just a bit less sweet, use real vanilla, and make them just that much better!), butter, and mini flavoured multi-coloured marshmallows. That’s it! I’m so drawn to how reminscent they are of church socials and retro potlucks & bake sales.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts via Sweetapolita

Like I mentioned, I usually make them in bar form, but I thought it would be fun to use a heart cookie cutter and create a Valentine’s version, especially for the kids. Basically, you melt the buttery trio (peanut butter, butterscotch chips, and butter) over a double boiler until smooth, then toss in the marshmallows, stir, and spread across a baking sheet lined with parchment, using an offset palette knife (or anything that works for you). After they have set in refrigerator, you can use a heart cutter to cut the shapes out . . . voila!  Now, I know I mentioned that these are super easy and fun for kids to make, and that they are, but truth is, my little cakelets were preoccupied this weekend while I was making this batch.

You see, our littlest girl, Neve, is just learning to walk, and so there was a lot of excitement going on while I whipped these up. I puttered in the kitchen while Reese and Grant (daddy) helped Neve learn to practice her walk. She got so good at walking while holding her push toy, that I knew it would be just a few days until she took her first steps, and just a few hours ago she did! Three big steps into mommy’s arms! Here are some photos from the weekend:

Sweetapolita

Here’s Neve getting a feel for pushing the toy on her own. She looks pretty relaxed.

Sweetapolita

Big sister Reese, ready to help her baby sister walk. This is huge deal for Reese: she’ll finally have someone to run around with. Up until now, she would run up to an ever-sitting Neve, tap her on the shoulder, and yell “TAG–you’re it!” and run away.

Sweetapolita

Here’s Daddy giving Neve a little pep-talk & cuddle before she gives it a try.

Sweetapolita

A little warm-up with Daddy, and now she’s ready for walking with her toy on her own . . .

Sweetapolita

Oh yes, proud as punch, with a full cheering section (that’d be us . . . including Pasha, the cat, who didn’t want to miss any excitement). Neve (aka Lovie) was so proud of herself, as were we. How amazing tonight to have her walk to me — I forgot how utterly wonderful that feels! Now that you’ve let me gush about my sweethearts, let’s make some sweet-hearts. 

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts

Yield: Approximately 2 dozen 3-inch hearts

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (680 g) premium butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup (227 g)(2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (175 g) smooth peanut butter (I use Skippy or Kraft)
  • 6 cups mini flavoured multi-coloured marshmallows (you can use all white if you need to)

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with enough parchment paper to have overhang on the sides.
  2. Melt everything, except the marshmallows, in a stainless steel bowl on top of simmering water, until smooth. Take off heat and stir in marshmallows.
  3. Pour and spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet with an offset spatula. You can sprinkle and press some loose marshmallows over top, if desired. Chill until firm.
  4. For hearts you out heart shapes by using a sturdy heart cookie cutter. For best results, push heart treat through cutter from bottom upwards. You may need to clean the cutter after every few cuts. If you rotate heart cut-outs side by side (one up, one down), you will end up with minimal bits leftover.
  5. You can also take the scraps and throw them into a icing-sugar based frosting, mix with electric mixer until incorporated and fluffy. I have a feeling, though, that you may see those leftover bits disappear before you get that far!

Notes

*This recipe can be divided in half if you are making squares. Use an 8" square pan and cut into bars.

**Best kept refrigerated. Freeze well in a freezer bag or plastic storage container.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://sweetapolita.com/2011/02/butterscotch-peanut-butter-marshmallow-hearts/

Good luck & enjoy!



Related posts:

Love Letter & Scripted Heart Cookies

Love Letter Cookies via Sweetapolita

Happy love-month, everyone! I’ve been having so much fun exploring different love-themed treats, now that the Valentine’s spirit is upon us. I have a seemingly endless list of lovey sweets in my blog-ideas notebook, so I hope to somehow make it through several more before Valentine’s Day. I feel, though, that so many of these designs would also make for gorgeous wedding, bridal shower, or anniversary confections, because where there is love, oh please, let there be cookies!

Love Letter Cookies via Sweetapolita

While browsing a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living, I was beyond inspired (as usual). This time, though, things were really clicking. Every time I turned the page, I felt creative nudge upon creative nudge, resulting in some quick scribbles and sketches in my pink Moleskine notebook (I should be buying the notebooks by the dozen these days!). One of the most inspiring images, to me, was a gorgeous set of pastel letters with wine-coloured seals, created by a fabulous paper company called OrangeArt. Seeing as I don’t think in paper, but in sugar, I immediately started to design this collection of love letter cookies.

Scripted Heart Cookies via Sweetapolita

As a hopeless romantic, love letters get me every time. Lucky for me, Grant is an exceptional writer, and sure knows how to speak from the heart. I still have some of his first love letters to me, and I will admit that the written word affects me more than anything else (particularly his, of course!). It seems we’re all enchanted by the love letters–no matter whose they are, really. I noticed this after Grant and I watched our third Nicholas Sparks (clearly a deep and sensitive author who has a real adoration for love letters) movie last weekend–all of which have a cameo appearance (or more) by a big stack of gorgeously tattered and heartfelt letters. The Notebook, of course, which is centered around the tragic pile of letters intercepted and hidden by the mother of a girl in a star-crossed love affair; Dear John, which also focuses on the written word of love between a young couple parted by war; and finally, our most recent watch, The Last Song–another story of love, but with a heap of unread letters from a father to his daughter. It all reminds me how inspirational and beautiful words really are; even the simple aesthetic of script, to me, is so lovely and artful.

Single Heart Cookie via Sweetapolita

I suppose that’s why I was so taken with the script rubber stamp I found the other day. The effect when impressed upon the fondant is simple, but I think it’s so pretty, textural, and perfectly antiquated.

Love Letter Cookies via Sweetapolita

So here we have a happy little family of scripted love cookies. You know, speaking of family and love letters, I wanted to share a really neat book/idea with you. Shortly after our first daughter, Reese, was born, Grant’s mom bought me a beautiful book called “Love, Mommy: Writing Love Letters To Your Baby.” The author, Judy Siblin-Librach, encourages and inspires the reader to do just that: to write heartfelt love letters to your baby. This gives them something amazing to cherish when they’re older, and they can learn all about specific, day-to-day reasons why you love them so. So, every night, for an entire year, I wrote Reese a love letter in a journal. I’ve put it away so that I can wrap it up and give it to her either on her wedding day, or when the time is right. I’ve also started this for Neve, and I’m so thrilled that Mary Lou (my mother-in-law) gave me this fabulous book. I can’t wait to sit down with the girls, years from now, and read each of their love letters again.

Love Letter Cookies via Sweetapolita

Once I started creating these cookies, I began imagining endless possibilities–there may even be a part two to this post, if I can’t resist the urge to create the next part of my vision! I hope you run with this theme. If you’d like to re-create what I’ve done above, here is the how-to:

Love Letters:

1. Using large rectangular cookie cutter (these are 4.5″ x 3″), cut out/bake/cool desired number of “letters.”

2. Colour fondant (I use Satin Ice brand) desired colours. I used ivory fondant and added the following colours (in tiny amounts):

Pink: Sugarflair “Pink” and a small amount of grey petal dust

Mauve: AmeriColor “Mauve” and a small amount of grey petal dust (I originally used a drop of Electric Purple, but Mauve is already muted, so it’s a better choice)

Ice Teal: AmeriColor “Teal” and a small amount of grey petal dust

Burgundy (for the seal): Sugarflair “Red” and AmeriColor “Electric Purple” and bit of AmeriColor “Super Black”

3. Roll out your fondant to about 1/8″ thickness, one cookie at a time, keeping the remaining fondant covered, and cut rectangle using same cookie cutter you used for cookie. When rolling fondant for cookies, I like to sprinkle icing sugar on counter surface before rolling, and then let the cut-out sit for a moment or two before lifting up with an artist’s palette knife. This way the fondant doesn’t get stretched in any way.

4. Spread a very, very thin layer of royal icing onto the inner surface of the cookie with an offset palette knife, and gently place your fondant cut-out on top, gently smoothing with your fingers.

5. Cut a top flap (any style you like–I used real envelopes for reference) and adhere to your “envelope” with a dab of water. Using a knife, create two angled envelope lines.

6. For scripted detail piece: roll out ivory fondant, then press the rubber stamp firmly down upon the fondant and lift straight up. Using a knife, cut a rectangular piece, let dry for about 15 minutes, and adhere to envelope with royal icing.

7. Using a #2 tip, pipe string onto envelope.

8. Roll a small ball of burgundy fondant, and emboss with wax seal, then place in centre of cookie.

Let cookies dry for several hours, preferably overnight, before packaging.

Scripted Heart Cookies:

These are so simple!

1. Cut out/bake/cool any heart shapes you desire.

2. Roll pastel coloured fondant as with letter cookies, and impress script using rubber stamp. Using same cutters as used for making cookies, cut scripted fondant hearts.

3. Adhere to corresponding cookie using very thin layer of royal icing and an offset palette knife.

I can see these making for fabulous event favours, gifts for loved ones & friends, dessert table details, and more.

Good luck & enjoy!


Related posts: