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Made by Manu: Valentine’s Lattice Heart Cookie

 

I've found that the best way to keep the creative juices flowing is to be consistent with your baking and decorating. While you're creating one thing, other ideas will keep coming. And so was the case with this project! While designing and cutting the sides of my "3-D Winter Wonderland Lattice Box Cookie" (last month's tutorial), I got the idea to use the same lattice concept with different shapes. My first brainstorm involved a heart shape decorated with a monogram, but then things evolved . . .

Before we get started, please re-read this note from last month's tutorial. It applies as much to this project as it did to the lattice box: "In lieu of a huge pie crust cutter, you can also cut lattice pieces using a lattice roller cutter. Alternatively, you can cut a lattice with a single diamond cookie cutter used repeatedly in an array, though, admittedly, this approach is much more time-consuming. I've linked to the pie crust and roller cutters in the list below so you have options for speedier cutting. But no matter which cutting method you choose, the most important thing to remember is to keep butter-based cookie dough cold at all steps to avoid misshaping. (Note: Shortening-based doughs don't firm up much with chilling so be sure to cut them directly on parchment paper or a baking mat; then move them on this surface directly onto your baking sheet.)”

What you’ll need for this project:
  • Cookie dough of your choice
  • Rolling pin
  • Lattice pie crust cutter or lattice roller cutter
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 (11.0 x 9.5-cm/4 3/8 x 3 3/4-in) and 1 (9.5 x 8.0-cm/3 3/4 x 3 1/8-in) heart cookie cutter (I used the extra large and large cutters from this nested heart cutter set.)
  • Royal icing (for lattice cookie only):
    • White flood-consistency, in a plate or broad, shallow container
    • Light grey piping-consistency, in pastry bag with PME #25 tip (or equivalent; Note: If you don't have this small flat tip, then a #2 or #3 round tip will do.)
    • White piping-consistency, in pastry bag with PME #2 round tip (or equivalent)
  • Scribe tool
  • Royal icing transfers, fondant decorations, or other embellishments of your choice

Step 1: Cut and bake cookies

For this project, we are going to create one large (11.0 x 9.5-cm/4 3/8 x 3 3/4-in) heart by combining a lattice cutout with a heart frame. This process of combining cookie shapes to create a new shape is called "frankencookie-ing" by some in the cookie world. And this lattice cookie would be considered a "frankencookie". I will explain its preparation in greater detail in Steps 1a to 1i, directly below. Since I wasn’t sure how to best orient the lattice cutout in the heart frame (vertically or horizontally), I ended up cutting the lattice both ways (see Steps 1b and 1c)!

a. Roll your dough to a thickness of 0.4 centimeter (approximately 3/16 inch). Using one of the cutting methods (and tools) described in the intro above, create a large lattice piece. Again, follow my chilling and handling tips above to avoid misshaping the dough.

b. Use the smaller (9.5 x 8-cm/3 3/4 x 3 1/8-in) heart cutter to make the lattice cutout. (We will frame it later with more dough.) For my first variation, I oriented the lattice vertically and placed the cutter such that the lattice pattern was symmetric around the heart's center line.

c. For my second variation, I oriented the lattice horizontally and located a diamond in the center of the heart. Of course, you could choose to locate the heart cutter in any number of other positions.

Step 1a to 1c - Create Lattice and Cut Out Heart Lattice

Let the two lattice cutouts chill in the fridge or freezer while you complete the next step.

d. Roll out more cookie dough to the same thickness as the two lattice pieces just cut. Using the same small heart cookie cutter, cut out two hearts. The lattice pieces will go inside the empty hearts, therefore you won’t need these heart cutouts. Just be sure to leave enough dough around each cutout to fit the large heart cutter around it. (We will be cutting the outer edge of the heart frame with that cutter in Step 1g.)

e. Take the two lattice pieces out of the fridge or freezer.

f. Insert one lattice piece in each empty heart cutout.

Step 1d to 1f - Cut Out Two Hearts, Insert Chilled Lattice Pieces in Empty Hearts

g. Center the large (11 x 9.5-cm/4 3/8 x 3 3/4-in) heart cookie cutter over one of the lattice pieces and then cut a bigger heart around it. Repeat this step to complete the heart frame around the second lattice cookie.

h. I chilled my cookies again (on the parchment paper they had been cut on) and then transferred them from the paper to a textured baking mat, just because I am used to baking on a textured mat. But you could simply slide the parchment paper (with the cookies on it) onto a baking sheet, and put the whole shebang directly into the oven.

i. Bake according to your recipe. The lattice and heart frame cookie pieces will fuse together while baking to create one continuous heart-framed lattice cookie (or two of them, in this case)! Let the cookies cool completely.

Step 1g and 1h - Cut Larger Hearts Around hearts Filled with Lattice Dough. Bake Cookies

Step 2: Decorate cookies with royal icing

There are many ways to decorate these lattice cookies. You can follow my previous tutorials (links at the end of this post) by outlining and flooding each lattice strip in a particular way so the strips, once completely iced, look woven. Or you could simply outline and flood them normally. In this case, I was aiming for a woven look, but I wanted to try something I hadn't done in my other tutorials.

a. First, fill a plate or broad, shallow container with white flood-consistency royal icing. Grasp the cookie from within the open diamonds, and hold it firmly with the top side facing down.

b. Now dip the cookie into the royal icing, making sure all of its surface makes contact with the icing. Avoid pushing the cookie too deep into the icing, as you want as little icing as possible (if any) in the interior of the diamonds.

Step 2a and 2b - Dip Cookie Surface in Royal Icing

c. Remove the cookie from the icing, and quickly turn it over. Use a scribe tool to smooth icing peaks, pop bubbles, and/or clean the diamond interiors of excess icing.

d. Let the icing dry completely. As you can see in the picture, even though the two hearts have the same measurements, they look slightly different due to the orientation of the lattice. From here on (Steps 2e to 2r), I will focus on the decoration of the heart with the vertical lattice, as the decorating process for the other heart is exactly the same.

Step 2c and 2d - Clean Spaces, Pop Bubbles, Smooth Peaks

e. Using light grey piping-consistency royal icing and a PME #25 tip (or equivalent), start by piping a central line along the lattice strips that lean toward the upper right. Again, if you don't have this small flat tip, then substitute a #2 or #3 round tip.

f. Now, pipe a parallel line to the left of each central line.

Step 2e and 2f - Pipe Central Line Along Lattice Strip and Another Line on Its Left Side

g. Then pipe a parallel line to the right of each central line.

h. Rotate the cookie, if needed, for better piping access, and pipe a trio of lines over each of the remaining undecorated lattice strips.

Step 2g and 2h - Pipe One More Line Along Its Right Side and Pipe a Trio of Line on AllStrips

i. Now, with the lattice strips completely covered, pipe a series of short lines all around the heart frame, as depicted below.

j. Don’t worry if the points where the frame icing meets the lattice icing are imperfect. They will be covered with a beaded border in the next step.

Step 2i and 2j - Pipe Lines along Heart Frame

k. Using white piping-consistency royal icing and a PME #2 round tip (or equivalent), pipe a white beaded border along the inner border of the heart frame. Start at the inner apex of the heart (where the two lobes meet). From the apex, pipe along the right half of the heart frame toward the bottom point of the heart. Stop once you reach the bottom.

l. Pipe a mirror-image beaded border on the left half of the heart, again starting at the apex and ending at the bottom point.

Step 2k and 2l - Pipe Beaded Border Along The Inner Heart Frame

m. Now, using the same icing and tip, pipe another beaded border around the outer border of the heart frame. This time, start at the bottom of the heart and pipe toward the apex along the right side of the heart. Piping in this manner will orient this border in the opposite direction of the inner border just piped.

n. Repeat Step 2m on the left half of the heart to create a mirror image of the border just piped.

Step 2m and 2n - Pipe Beaded Border Along Outer Heart Frame

o. So, that completes the royal icing decoration piped directly onto the cookie. You can leave the cookie as is, or add any embellishment(s) you'd like on top to finish it. A royal icing transfer, a piped royal icing rose or other flower, a fondant or modeling chocolate bow . . . the options are nearly limitless. As I noted in the intro, I originally wanted to add a monogram on top but . . .

p. I ended up adding a royal icing transfer that read “love” in a romantic script font. To attach a transfer like mine, turn it over ever so carefully (this long transfer was especially fragile!), and pipe a few small dots of white piping-consistency royal icing on its back side.

Step 2o and 2p - Pipe Glue on the Back Side of a Royal icing Decoration

q. Next, hover the transfer over the cookie to determine its best placement before gently pressing it, icing "glue" side down, onto the top of the cookie. Again, press ever so gently so you don't break the transfer.

r. And that completes my final cookie-top decoration, but you can always add more embellishments if you like! [EDITOR'S NOTE: As much as I am a more-is-more person, I like the simplicity of just the one transfer on top. The lines on the lattice add so much interest even on their own. ❤️ ~JMU]

Step 2q and 2r - Glue Royal Icing Decoration on Cookie

As you should know by now, I'm all for cookies that can be transformed into other ones with just a few simple styling twists. For instance, I decorated the other heart cookie (with the lattice framed horizontally) with white lines instead of light grey ones, and then added a red “love” royal icing transfer on top. I also used two nested oval cookie cutters to make an oval lattice cookie. I decorated it with light gray lines in the same way as the hearts, but finished it with my monogram in pink.

Valentine's Lattice Cookies

In the event that you're loving the lattice look as much as I am , here are photos of my two previous lattice cookie projects along with links to their associated tutorials:

Made by Manu - April 2022"Lattice Cookie for Mom"

3-D Winter Wonderland Lattice Box Cookie - Made by Manu - December 2023
"3-D Winter Wonderland Lattice Box Cookie"

Again, both tutorials describe my method for outlining and flooding the lattice strips so they appear woven.

As you can see, the possibilities for lattice cookies are endless - not only for Valentine’s Day, but also Mother’s Day, birthdays, thank-you gifts . . . just let your creativity lead you. I can’t wait to see what you make!

Love, Manu ❤️

Manuela Pezzopane, affectionately called Manu by her friends and family, is the author of the blog feature Made by Manu, where each month she shares the method behind a magical cookie of her own making. In March 2022, Manu also assumed the role of host of our rebranded and reformatted Cookie Connection Challenges: Watch-Learn-Create Series, which debuted in a virtual video format in July 2022. A fan of everything handmade, Manu professes to have tried every possible hobby. However, it wasn’t until the end of 2014, when an American friend invited her to a Christmas cookie exchange, that she first discovered decorated cookies. In 2015, after watching Julia M. Usher's videos and signing up on Cookie Connection, Manu finally attempted her own designs. Since then, cookie decorating has become Manu’s passion, and her mesmerizing video shorts have earned her a large and loyal following throughout the global cookie community. Manu harks from Rome, Italy, where she currently resides. You can email Manu at manubiscottidecorati@gmail.com, follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or explore her past challenges and large library of Made by Manu tutorials here on Cookie Connection.

Photo credit: Manuela Pezzopane

Attachments

Images (16)
  • Where We're Headed - Valentine's Lattice Heart Cookie!: Cookie Project and Photo by Manu
  • Steps 1a to 1c - Create Lattice, and Cut Heart Lattice Pieces: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 1d to 1f - Cut out Two Hearts, and Insert Chilled Lattice Pieces in Empty Hearts: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 1g and 1h - Cut Large Hearts around Smaller Lattice Hearts, and Bake Cookies as Directed: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 2a and 2b - Dip Cookie Surface in White Royal Icing: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 2c and 2d - Smooth Peaks, Pop Bubbles, and Clean Diamond Interiors: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 2e and 2f - Pipe Central Lines along Lattice Strips and Parallel Lines to their Left: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 2g and 2h - Pipe Parallel Lines to the Right, and Then Pipe a Trio of Lines on All Remaining Undecorated Strips: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 2i and 2j - Pipe Short Lines along Heart Frame: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 2k and 2l - Pipe Beaded Border along Inner Heart Frame: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 2m and 2n - Pipe Beaded Border along Outer Heart Frame: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 2o and 2p - Pipe Icing "Glue" on Back Side of Royal Icing Transfer: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 2q and 2r - Attach Royal Icing Transfer to Cookie: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu
  • Valentine's Lattice Cookies - A Few Styles, All Done!: Cookie Project and Photo by Manu
  • Lattice Cookie for Mom - Made by Manu - April 2022: Cookie Project and Photo by Manu
  • 3-D Winter Wonderland Lattice Box Cookie - Made by Manu - December 2023: Cookie Project and Photos by Manu

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Comments (11)

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@Zeena posted:

Yet another lovely tutorial Manu @Manu biscotti decorati. Looks complicated but you made it all easy with your techniques.

Thank you Zeena💗 It is actually less complicated than it looks. Maybe the dipping technique, but because I am not so used to it. 😄

Oh Manu, another wonderful cookie tutorial!! I love, how you pipped the cookie with Icing. The lettering fits perfect to the cookie decoration. Wonderful, manu!!  @Manu biscotti decorati ❤️

Thank you Gabi, yes, it does because I traced the heart area on a piece of paper and wrote love inside until it fit ☺️

I'm loving the lattice designs! Keep them coming. This cookie feels like there is so much detail to look at, and yet somehow it remains clean and graphic. And infinitely customizable! Brilliant, as always.

Such a wonderful tutorial.  As always, the detailed steps are incredible.  Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to share all of this with us.  You are such an inspiration Manu!

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