Nutty about Nuts
So let me get the mushy stuff out of the way. I made these cookies for my husband (although my children will probably eat most of them) because I am, well, nuts about him. The typical Valentines hearts and flowers just doesn't "fit" our relationship. We are two crazy kids (err. .thirty-somethings) that were college sweethearts. Our offspring think we're whack-o when we crank up Young MC's "Bust a Move" and rap every word. Loudly. Some think we're bonkers because Mike encouraged me to quit my job to create cookies every day.
Yup- I am crazy about him, and our nutty ways.
Which is why I made him some cookie nuts. And some cookie squirrels too. Because nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like some squirrels and their nuts. At least it does in my house.
I used small cookies for this project, but you can make your nuts any size (yup-I just said that).
What You'll Need:
You'll need the following cutters (or something similar) to make the peanuts and pecans:
1. number 8
2. a carrot. You could definitely use something other than a carrot, but it's what was in my hand at the time.
I know that peanuts technically aren't nuts. They're legumes. But I have never seen a sign in the grocery store that says "Legumes, Aisle 4". And besides, they have "nut" in their name. So they're honorary nuts.
The peanut will be made with the number 8 cutter with a little squish in the middle. See the difference? You'll need an 20ish-second gold icing, and an 12ish-second warm brown (don't get hung up on the seconds). Add a little of each color to each color to make them harmonize (put a little of the gold with the brown, and a little brown with the gold.
Outline the cookie with the gold. Wait a minute or so. Then flood with warm brown.
Here's the part where timing really counts, though. We need to add the wonky grid lines to create the texture of the peanut. Wait a minute or two before piping the lines so that they partially sink into the warm brown.
See how the texture is created? I love it!
I love mine candied with some cinnamon and sugar. Here's how to make cookie ones!
I trimmed a carrot shape to create the oblong pecan.
After baking, use a food marker to draw the lines like in the picture. Then paint really thin chocolate brown icing over the lines. This will create the shadows of the indentations on the pecan.
For the remainder of the pecan, use the same color brown, but in a 20-second icing. Fill in the center section of the pecan- see how it comes to a point? Next, create a squiggly outline for the pecan.
Here's where it starts getting tricky. Bear with me. Pipe two ovals around the painted brown icing.
Use the brown icing to fill in anywhere you still see plain cookie showing, except at the top of the center point.
It's hard to describe, so check out the pictures.
The first one or two pecans are definitely the hardest. It gets easier!
Get out your airbrush or petal dusts to add some shading and you're done! Your own pile of nuts.
Thanks for following me through this crazy adventure!
I hope you're NUTS about someone too :)
By the way, what's your favorite kind of nuts? Mine are honey roasted peanuts. Oooh- and walnuts. Mmmm pistachios. . . I can't decide!
1/16/2014 09:23:38 am
Great job Amy. I love them! You always think up the neatest stuff.
Amy Clough'D 9
1/16/2014 02:19:43 pm
Thanks Brandi! Looking forward to seeing you in a few short months!!
1/16/2014 10:52:30 am
Oh, Amy, that squirrel is so realistic! Love him! I also love your non-traditional take on V-Day! Love reading how you create these amazing pieces of edible art. :-) Hope to see you soon!
Amy Clough'D 9
1/16/2014 02:20:57 pm
Thanks, Lisa! That squirrel was a hoot to make :) You can't have a pile of nuts without a squirrel!
Amy Clough'D 9
1/16/2014 02:21:37 pm
Thanks, Dotty! You are one of my biggest fans :)
Debbie Sweetmam Lewis
1/17/2014 06:59:22 am
These look great!
2/7/2014 10:29:55 pm
Love these cookies! We have a handicapped squirrel that lives with us, and his favorite treat is candied pecan! Could you show how you made the squirrel cookie? Thanks!
1/27/2017 11:05:27 pm
Absoulty beautiful this by far beats the old valentine hearts so happy that you went nuts and shared with us love the squirrel love love love them thank you soooo nuts
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I'm Amy. Wife, Mom, former science teacher- and now full time cookie baker on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Pull up a chair and we'll create! I'll bring the coffee- maybe Mike (The Cookie Widower) will make it for us.