In this Instructable, I'll show you how to make a special Valentine's Day treat for family and friends or cute cookies for a date night.
This Valentine's Day I was inspired to use some hedgehog cookie cutters that I have for this special treat. I used a recipe for cinnamon stars, a traditional German Christmas cookie, when making these cookies. It's primarily made of almond meal which I thought would be perfect for these cuties.
Step 1: Ingredients & Supplies
To make these delectable hedgehogs, you will need:
- 2 cups almond meal/flour
- 2/3 cups hazelnut meal/flour
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner's powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 3/4 tsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup egg whites
- 1/8 tsp salt
- chopped walnuts
- candy conversation hearts
- hedgehog cookie cutters
- parchment paper
- a baking sheet
The original recipe calls for just almond meal, but I thought that the hazelnut meal would be a great addition for the hedgehog cookies given it's color and texture. Really it's a toss up for how much of each you want to use.
The craft supplies that you'll need are:
- treat bags
- decorative tags (I found these burlap heart-shaped ones at Michaels)
- baker's twine (I purchased mine from the $1 section at Target)
- glitter glue
- craft paper
You can find the original recipe for the cinnamon stars that I followed here.
Step 2: Combine the Ingredients
In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal, hazelnut meal, ground cinnamon, and lemon zest.
Step 3: Create the Egg White Mixture
Combine the egg whites and salt in a small bowl and using a whisk, beat the mixture until soft peaks form. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is stiff.
Set aside 1/3 cup of this mixture for the glaze.
Step 4: Prepare the Cookie Dough
Fold the egg white mixture into the almond & hazelnut mixture. I used a fork at first but eventually found that using my hands made it much easier, although a sticky process. Roll the dough into a large ball.
Step 5: Roll Out the Dough
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the ball of dough in-between two pieces of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
Step 6: Cut Out the Cookies
Using the hedgehog cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and place them on the baking sheet.
I found that a knife was useful in removing all of the dough from around the cookie cutters leaving clean edges.
Step 7: Glaze the Cookies
To make the glaze, add the lemon juice to the remaining egg white mixture and stir until smooth.
Use a small spoon to pour some of the glaze onto each cookie. Spread the glaze on the surface of the cookie.
I experimented a bit with the design. For some, I covered the whole surface and for others I left the face of the hedgehog without glaze.
Step 8: Sprinkle With Walnuts
To add texture to the hedgehogs, I sprinkled them with chopped walnuts!
Step 9: Bake
Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes. The original recipe said 20 - 25 minutes, but you'll know when they're done when the glaze begins to brown. Ideally, the cookies will be soft in the center.
Remove them from the baking sheet and set them aside to cool.
If you notice any glaze that dripped over the edges, I found that it was easy enough to chip it off with a knife for a cleaner look.
Step 10: Crafting
While the cookies are cooling, have fun decorating and embellishing the tags. I made labels by cutting out hearts from the red craft paper and glueing them to the burlap hearts. It's perfect for personalizing them and writing a Valentine's Day message.
A fun hedgehog themed message that I adore is:
- Sending hedge-hugs your way this Valentine's Day!
Step 11: Package & Tie
Pour the conversation hearts into a bowl so that you can easily choose the colors. Place two hedgehogs (one of each design in this case) in each treat bag. Sprinkle an assortment of the hearts into the treat bag, making sure that some are facing forward so that you can read the message.
Tie the treat bag with the decorative ribbon and use a small piece of the baker's twine to attach the tag.