Thursday, February 6, 2014

GF Red Velvet Valentines' Cookies and A Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! 


I find that people generally fall into one of two camps when it comes to Valentine’s Day: they either love the holiday or they hate it.


I tend to fall into the “love it” category, but really I love any holiday that gives me an excuse to make festive treats & decorate custom sugar cookies.  (Seriously, I just spent the better part of three days working on these cookies!)


The same thing seems true, in my experience, when it comes to red velvet cake: people either love it or they dislike it. I admit, I’m not crazy about red velvet cake, but I did really enjoy the red velvet macarons I made last year.


A couple of years ago, I saw red velvet cut out cookies on the esteemed Sugar Belle’s blog, and I filed the idea away for a future Valentine’s season. This year, I decided to give the recipe a try & convert it to a Gluten Free option.  I love my regular sugar cookie recipe, but it’s always fun to add a new variety to the arsenal.


Part of the reason I was intrigued with Callye’s recipe is that it used a couple unusual-to-me ingredients: Red Velvet Emulsion & Buttermilk Powder . I don’t always have the greatest success finding out-of-the-ordinary ingredients in my local grocery stores, but luckily I was able to find both at Walmart (though Amazon.com also carries them).


Along with imparting that particular red velvet flavor, the red velvet emulsion also contains red coloring, which then meant I didn’t have to add any additional red to the dough. And I am very intrigued by the buttermilk powder--I look forward to experimenting with adding it to other baked goods too…


While I was shopping for the red velvet emulsion, I also discovered Cream Cheese Emulsion. Since red velvet cake is traditionally paired with cream cheese frosting (and the cream cheese emulsion was free from oil--royal icing’s enemy), it seemed serendipitous to make a cream cheese flavored royal icing for the decorations. Though a word of caution, a little goes a long way when it comes to cream cheese emulsion!


And this brings me to a giveaway! In the 4+ years that I’ve been posting, I’ve never done a giveaway. But I’d like to start doing a few from time to time...  This particular giveaway will feature some of the red velvet cookies you see in this post and some of my classic Valentine’s decorated sugar cookies.


For a chance to win, leave a comment telling me your favorite Valentine treat.  And please make sure to include your email address so that I can contact you, should you be the winner! The contest will run through midnight central time on Sunday, February 9, 2014. Because this giveaway is completely sponsored (i.e. funded) by me, it is only open to residents of the United States.

Giveaway is now closed!  Thanks to all who entered! 


Quilted/Tufted Cookie Tutorial
(inspired by Sugar Belle  and Sweet Ambs)

Use a Food Writer Pen and a ruler to draw diagonal lines 0.5” apart from each other. Then, draw lines perpendicular to the original ones to form a grid system. (I started by drawing a line down the center of the heart & using that as a guide with my clear ruler and my edible food marker.)


Use 20 second icing & a #1 tip to begin filling in the squares, making sure that no two squares are touching in any manner (see above photo). I usually try to fill in just inside the lines. Allow to dry for 20ish minutes to create a 3D look.


Go back and begin filling in the squares again (see photo above) Allow to dry again for 20ish minutes.
Fill in the remaining squares & allow to dry 20ish minutes if adding edible pearls (using a tweezers make this process easiest), or dry completely if piping dots in a contrasting color.


Further Technique Resources: 


For the (above) wet-on-wet flower technique or the (below) brush embroidery technique (or video here), visit Sweet Ambs.


For the piped lace designs, visit Sugar Belle and Bake at 350.


GF Red Velvet Cut Out Cookies
Adapted from Sugar Belle 

8 oz / 2 sticks / 1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
8 oz / 2 cups Confectioners Sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste 
1 Tbl Lorann Red Velvet Emulsion 
2 Tbl Milk
1.5 oz / 1/2 c Hershey’s Cocoa Powder
23 g  / 1/4 c Buttermilk Powder
13.8 oz / 3 1/4 c GF Flour {I used Jeanne's GF AP Mix; or use regular AP if not GF}
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
additional tapioca starch for dusting (optional) 

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the unsalted butter & the confectioners sugar on low speed until they are well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  2. Add the egg, vanilla, red velvet emulsion and milk. Mix on low speed to combine & scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  3. Meanwhile, sift together the dry ingredients (cocoa, buttermilk powder, GF flour, baking powder, and fine grain sea salt) in a separate bowl. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl & mix on low speed.  When the dry ingredients are halfway combined, add the vinegar and continue to mix until a dough forms.  If the dough is very sticky, add an extra 1/4 c GF flour, if the dough is still crumbly, add an additional Tbl of milk.  (note, mine required extra flour, but the original recipe did not call for any additional flour). 
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  7. Roll out the chilled dough either between two pieces of parchment, or on surface well dusted a tapioca starch .
  8. Cut out shapes & place on the prepared baking sheets. 
  9. Bake at 400 for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the cutouts. 
  10. Cool completely before decorating with Almond Cream Cheese Royal Icing (recipe follows). 

Almond Cream Cheese Royal Icing
2# confectioners sugar
2.25 oz Meringue Powder
3/4 c Warm Water
3/4 tsp Imitation Almond Extract **see note below**
1 tsp Cream Cheese Emulsion 
  1. In the bowl of a very clean stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the confectioners sugar and meringue powder.  Mix on low speed to combine. 
  2. With the machine running, add the warm water. Increase the speed to medium until all the confectioners sugar/meringue powder is combined. Then increase the speed to high & continue mixing for 5 additional minutes (or until very stiff and glossy).  
  3. Add the imitation almond extract and the cream cheese emulsion.  Mix on medium speed to combine.  
  4. Color the icing as desired and thin to the desired consistency for decorating. Remember that colors containing lots of reds/pinks/blacks will continue to develop color & should be made at least 12 hours before use for proper color development.
  5. Store the icing in a clean, airtight container in the refrigerator. Top with a wet paper towel to keep the surface of the icing from drying out. 
**Note: Why use imitation almond extract? Real almond extract uses almond oil & oil is an enemy of royal icing, so imitation almond extract (which does not contain almond oil) is required.**

note: this post may contain affiliate links. 

47 comments:

  1. half_blue_sky@yahoo.com

    I love Godiva chocolates for Valentine's!

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  2. My favorite valentines treats are definitely Macrons! Homemade macrons take care to make and really show an effort of love into the gift. Store bought are equally as good though! Share them with your S.O. at a picnic for two (Preferably in Paris). michelleohsnap@gmail.com

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    1. I'm with you on the macarons. And the Paris venue ;)

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  3. My favorite treat is anything delicious from Sweet Treats Baking or Small Batch. :) But seriously, chocolate is the bomb. Love you! Love those cookies! I bragged about you at work, too. "Yeah, She's MY friend." Kelli

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    1. Awe, you're making me blush, friend! Thanks :)

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  4. I have never heard of either of those emulsions! The cheesecake one sounds awesome, I'll definitely look for it the next time I'm out. And your cookies look adorable. As for my favorite treat, I'd say anything I didn't have to slave over for three days (or anything with passion fruit)! Seriously, I'm usually the one who slaves for several days making treats and printing valentines only to find that no one else bothered. Which is fine, I know very few people as crazy as I am, but it would be a nice surprise to find a treat in my mailbox, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed on this giveaway (though to be honest, I'll probably share most of them with my GF friend).

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    1. I wanted to use passion fruit for my next post, but alas, I can't find any locally. Passion fruit with milk chocolate is one of my favorites :) ps. loved your cookies on FB!

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  5. My favorite Valentine's treat is either macaroons or scotcheroo bars. Love your blog Laura! (Klynn.snyder@gmail.com)

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    1. Love those both! (and now I can't stop thinking of scotcheroos, haha).

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  6. I had to Pin:) your cookies are so pretty.

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  7. Chocolate covered strawberries are my go to Valentine treat! The cookies are gorgeous!
    hjacksonslp@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks! I like the slightly healthier (while still decadent) chocolate covered strawberry option :)

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  8. Absolutely beautiful!! …the cookies and your photography. favorite-home made marshmallows cut with heart cookie cutters
    gale.reeves@comcast.net

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    1. Thanks, Gale! Homemade marshmallows are one of my favorites too!

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  9. I am a lover of all things chocolate. Since becoming gluten intolerant I am always craving recipes similar to my family favorites, this one sounds delish!! Sharon
    prettybloomers1@gmail.com

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    1. I know how hard it can be to give up those gluten-laden favorites! I hope this recipe helps your cravings :)

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  10. I loooove truffles, of any kind in any flavor! I stumbled upon these beautiful cookies (seriously, they're art!) while looking for something to make my friends this year - and then I realized they're gluten free which is exciting because so am I.
    kmtolley@ncsu.edu

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    Replies
    1. Glad you stumbled upon them :) Thanks for your kind words (And I just might be making truffles soon! )

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  11. The box of chocolates of course - it's really the only holiday I can see them as a gift for and the variety is so much fun!

    k.brinckerhoff@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Excellent idea. I always like the anticipation, before eating, of what flavor each one will be!

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  12. What adorable and beautiful cookies, Laura! I love that you've started doing giveaways! My favorite Valentine's Day treats are the ones that come from my favorite shop, The Chocolate Tree, which is in my hometown of Beaufort, SC. From cupid corn (for some reason I only like the V-Day candy corn...) to peanut butter filled chocolate hearts- it's all amazing! I can't possibly narrow down just one favorite. Let's just say that Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. :)

    Hope you and Alex are doing well! xx

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    1. Thanks, Caitlin! I agree, it's had to pick a favorite :) I started making homemade candy corn a couple years ago & now I want to make it for every holiday! The recipe is in the archives, if you're interested, but it is a bit tedious…. Hope you and Colin are well too :)

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  13. flourless chocolate cake with raspberries and whipped cream
    Jamie_hutton@hotmail.com
    Love your blog! you're so talented.

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    Replies
    1. Yum! I made almost just the same for Valentine's day last year :) Thanks for your kind words. Say hi to your family.

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  14. Lauren and I's favorite Valentine's treat is homemade heart shaped sugar cookies decorated with pink and white icing and sprinkles surrounded by friends :)
    jennifer.m.bussey@gmail.com

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    1. Awe! Miss you and our cookie decorating parties!

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  15. I LOVE anything made by the famous Laura Vein! :). -- Karina

    Klwittmann@gmail.com

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  16. What beautiful cookies! I LOVE looking at your blog and your beautiful creations. God has blessed you. I guess my favorite Valentine's treat would be chocolate anything with coconut. dottyarnold@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, Dotty! You know, I use to hate the coconut chocolates in the assorted chocolate boxes, but now they've become my favorite too :)

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  17. Laura you do such beautiful work! I love cookies but my favorite Valentine treat is chocolate truffles.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! Truffles are fantastic! I'm making some today, in fact.

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  18. Chocolate covered strawberries and sugar cookies are tied for my favorite vday treats. thodny@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. It's always hard to pick just one, isn't it? Both are excellent choices, in my book. :)

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  19. These are beautiful! I love anything chocolate :) I miss your sugar cookies and hot chocolate though! We need to catch up soon!

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    1. Thanks :) I miss you too! Yes, catching up soon is a must. I wish I could teleport cookies and cocoa to you!

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    2. Oh, and teleport myself too ;)

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  20. My favorite Valentine treat are the truffles that I make every year!

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    1. You do make some fantastic looking truffles!

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  21. When I was a sophomore in college, one of my guy friends delivered roses to all his girl friends who he knew were single. I thought it was very sweet. :) In terms of food, I like anything with sugar. ;) lch319@gmail.com

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    1. Awe, that was so sweet of him! I like that you don't discriminate when it comes to Valentine's treats :) Miss you!

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  22. Getting chocolate souffle at my favorite restaurant is a Valentine's treat I look forward to.
    myfoxypup(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh, chocolate soufflés are so good! Especially when you don't have to make them yourself ;)

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  23. I adore this!
    I love your Decoration.
    I love the choices you picked and I would be happy to make any one of them.
    Thank You.

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