licorice heart cookie popsAny holiday is a good excuse to make not just delicious but aesthetically-pleasing baked goods. But there's something about Valentine's Day that demands we do so. Maybe it's just me, but how can you resist? It's the sweetest holiday of the year, after all, so why not celebrate it by baking up your own adorable sweet fix in the kitchen?

Like take these Licorice Heart Cookie Pops, the brainchild of Meaghan Mountford, the renowned, uber-talented cookie decorator and guru behind the blog TheDecoratedCookie.com and the book Sugarlicious: 50 Cute and Clever Treats for Every Occasion. They're almost so pretty you don't want to eat them, but so delicious you can't resist. In the end, total win-win.

Licorice Heart Cookie Pops, excerpted from SUGARLICIOUS: 50 Cute and Clever Treats for Every Occasion by Meaghan Mountford on sale February 2012.

Supplies

  • Heart cookie cutters (use any preferred size, 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches)
  • Cookie or lollipop sticks
  • Gel paste food color­ing (pink)
  • 4 decorating bags
  • 2 couplers
  • 2 decorating tips, Size 4
  • Rubber bands
  • Red licorice lace or Twizzlers Pull ’N’ Peel
  • Toothpick
  • Light corn syrup
  • Scissors

Instructions:   

  1. Roll out chilled cookie dough, cut out hearts, insert lollipop sticks, and bake according to the recipe. Let cool completely.
  2. Prepare royal icing (you can find Meghan's recipe here), divide in half, and tint 2 shades of pink. Pre­pare 2 decorating bags with couplers and size 4 decorating tips, fill with half of each shade, and close tightly with rubber bands. Cover and reserve remaining pink icing.
  3. Pipe an outline on the cookies with either shade of pink, and let set about 15 minutes. Use the remaining empty decorating bags to flood the cookies with either shade of pink according to the technique instructions. Let dry overnight.
  4. Take a piece of red licorice lace or pull off a piece of Twizzlers Pull ’n’ Peel. With a tooth­pick, dab light corn syrup on the licorice to use as glue, and decorate the hearts with stripes, checks, or swirls. Snip the excess lico­rice with scissors. Let the cookies dry well.

Tip: Lay the licorice on the hearts to plan your design before adding the light corn syrup glue.